Sunday, May 18, 2008

Russians Are Golden

There's been hockey aplenty this weekend, with international play colliding with NHL conference finals in an all-out battle for hockey supremacy and the attention of hockey fans everywhere.

Without a doubt, though, the most exciting (and least painful, unless you're Canadian) of these games was today's World Championship gold medal game. It was the ultimate game, a clash of the titans, two undefeated teams meeting to continue a historic rivalry, Russia vs. Canada. After falling behind by two goals twice, Russia stormed back to win in dramatic fashion thanks to Ilya Kovalchuk's overtime goal - his second of the game and the tournament.

And for Caps fans, it was certainly a proud moment to see some of our very own receiving their gold medals. In fact, it's hard to see pictures of Ovechkin, Semin and Fedorov, clutching the trophy and bringing it to their lips...and not picture a different trophy in its place.

The three of them made up the formidable "Capital Punishment" line, and every shift they lived up to their name. Today was no exception - at many times they appeared to be the best line on the ice, matching Canada's top line shift after shift, and Semin's two goals kept Russia in the game early on when it looked like the Canadians would run away with the gold.

Ovechkin was dominant as expected but he wasn't alone. In fact in just nine games, the trio of Russian Caps combined for 17 goals and 20 assists, and were an astounding +32. All three finished in the top 10 in tournament scoring, joining their teammate Mike Green - whose 12 points made him the top scoring defenseman in the tournament, by the way.

Should Fedorov decide to sign on with the Caps for another year it seems the possibilities are endless. We saw how well Ovechkin and Backstrom played. We saw how well Backstrom and Semin played. And Fedorov is able to center them both, on separate lines or together. It's called depth, folks, and it would be nothing short of a coup to have Fedorov join Backstrom and Nylander down the middle.

Just another thing for GMGM to mull over in the coming months...because he won't have enough on his plate.

The World Championships showed us just how promising this Caps team is; eight different Capitals represented their countries in the tournament, and six made it to the medal rounds with their respective countries. Four of them finished in the top ten scorers. Five of them received medals.

And so today as the Worlds wrap up we join in the celebration.

Congratulations to Backstrom and Sweden, congratulations to Sami Lepisto and Finland, congratulations to Green and Canada for their superb play throughout the tournament. And of course, congratulations to Team Russia - gold medal winners, World Champions, and proud Caps!

1 comment:

Hockey Wench said...

It was awesome to see Kovy and Ovy so proud and happy. I just added you to our blogroll.