First rule of hockey writing: if there’s a photo of a guy hit in the junk, USE IT. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)
The Florida Panthers were still coming down off blowing out Tampa 7-4 when they showed up for their game with the Washington Capitals. That big win must have taken a lot out of them, ’cause they just didn’t show up to play on Tuesday.
Three penalty killers gravitated to Alex Ovechkin, leaving Marcus Johansson enough space to score his third of the season. Early in the third period, Alex Semin effortlessly ripped the puck far side to make it 2-0. With an empty net, Alex Semin fed goal-scoring leader Jason Chimera, who lobbed it in for the coup de grace. Caps beat Cats 3-0.
Be glad this team is in the Southeast. The Panthers are ostensibly new: their chemistry is still congealing and their systems are taking form. Until that happens, the Capitals have five more opportunities for eerily game-like practices that count for real standings points. Le’ts hope the PP looks solid and the PK looks stolid every time the Cats and Caps meet.
Tomorrow we start talking about Jaromir Jagr, so be careful what you eat before bed. Serious vomit possibilities are imminent.
UPDATE: Adam Vingan— of Kings of Leonsis and like 75 other websites– reports witnessing Matt Bradley personally apologizing to Alex Semin after the game. Vingan tweets that Bradley said, “I love you, man”, which is just priceless. And with that, this story is officially OVER.
And this is traditionally the part of the post where we credit Neil Greenberg for his statistics and analysis. But Mr. Greenberg has finally graduated from RMNBU. We’ll keep reading Neil on WaPo’s Capitals Insider, ESPN Insider, and his whip-smart Twitter feed. We urge you to do the same. Thanks for making us look smart, Neil.
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