Saturday, November 29, 2008

Post-Game: Capitals vs Canadiens

Jose Theodore got revenge on his former team and picked up his first shutout of the year, blanking the Canadiens 3-0. Theo made 28 saves and the Capitals killed off all three of Montreal's power plays. Washington (13-7-3) is now 9-0-1 at home and Jose is 5-0 at home with a 1.77 GAA.

Tomas Fleischmann continued his torrid goal-scoring pace by picking up the game-winning goal in the first period. Flash prevented a Habs breakout and found the puck on his stick in front of Jaroslav Halak. Tomas passed to a wide-open Michael Nylander who waited then gave it right back to Fleischmann who put it into the net. Nylander skated 14:12 and registered two shots on goal, but he was booed on more than one occasion for taking his time skating the puck up and holding on to the puck for too long.

The score does not reflect how close this game really was. It was a one-goal game for more than 40 minutes until Alex Ovechkin scored at a nearly impossible angle. He kept his scoring streak alive and now has points in 10 straight (22 points, 11-11-22). Ovechkin is now tied for second in the NHL in scoring.

Five minutes later, David Steckel added another insurance goal. Sami Lepisto took a slap shot and Steckel had a very nice deflection that put it top shelf. Halak had no chance. Washington is now 9-1 when Steckel scores a goal.

Other Notes:

  • Last night Verizon Center was taken over by Canadiens' fans. Not to the point where their chants were louder than ours, but if 'horn guy' or 'Goat' weren't cheering on the crowd, the were Habs fans were audible... shouting and yelling (in French) all game.
  • Fleischmann's ninth goal ranks higher than players like Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuck, or Olli Jokinen.
  • Bryan Helmer's TOI was 16:42 and he was paired with Tyler Sloan. I thought Helmer played well. He was not really noticeable on the ice...which is a good thing for 'D' men. He played solid 'D' and finished +1. Karl Alzner skated 23:22 played okay, but I think he did better in his first game. Alzner was also +1 and got a shot on goal. An "Alz we need is Karl" sign was spotted. Sami Lepisto (15:33) recorded his second assist in as many games on the Steckel goal. Although he got on the score card again, I'm iffy on praising him at the NHL level. He played better this game, but he can do better.
  • Chris Bourque was on the ice for a little over 12 minutes and was solid. He definitely did better this game and picked up two shots on net. C-Bo hustled more and had more confidence working on the 4th line.
  • Bruce Boudreau became the fastest Capitals coach to win 50 games. Gabby is now 50-24-10 in 84 games coached...Caps trainer, Mike Smith "Smitty" was on the bench for his 1000th game.
  • The highlight of my night was probably meeting Lisa Hillary on the concourse. I immediately recognized her, but blanked on her name...So, what I managed to say was "Hey you're the girl from TV!" She started laughing and we were talking for what felt like 10 minutes (probably about 30 seconds). She's very nice, and down to Earth....And very pretty.
  • There was also an Alexander Semin sighting at Harris Teeter (Ballston) last night after the game. One of my friends called me and said that Semin was 10 feet away and asked me what he should say. I thought quickly and told him to say, "Good game, Sascha." It was about 10 seconds after I hung up that I remembered Semin hasn't played for two weeks. When my friend called me back, I reminded him that he did not play last night, and that answered his question of why Semin gave him a look. My buddy thought Semin did not understand/speak English...but he should have known.

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