Screengrab by: @recordsandradio
If I had told you in October that a late-February game against the Islanders would be one of the most important games of the season, you would have laughed yourself sick. This one was big, though. All of them will be from now on. The Caps hung in there, didn’t stop fighting, tied up the game in the most completely improbable fashion possible — and then they won. You might not have seen that one coming.
Josh Bailey glided right through a defensive breakdown and scored the first goal. Matt Moulson deflected a long shot in front of Neuvirth to make it 2-0. Brouwer scored one Knuble-style in front of the net with the clock winding down. Brouwer then officially became a certified hero by tipping in a second goal with seconds left to go and took us to overtime. Alex Ovechkin ended it with a five-hole beauty, and you know what? We might believe. Just a little bit. Caps win, 3-2.
Trade deadline did not go the way that many of us expected it to. There was no overhaul. There’s been a sense over the past few months that the Caps would be changing drastically come February, there was a lot of armchair GMing to be done and a lot of clear and reasonable excuses for the Caps’ performance. That’s over now. The trade freeze is on, these are your Washington Capitals.
We’ll see whether that ultimately turns out to be a good thing or a bad thing. There are certainly flaws in this roster, but there are flaws in every team around us in the standings, and the Southeast Division is a joke. The team that can manage to be the least awful will be in. The team is perhaps not as good as it appeared to be coming into October, but then sometimes for moments or for whole games they are fantastic, and there are players that we are so, so glad that we didn’t have to give up. All up to them now. Deadline’s past, no point dwelling. Tonight, they showed us that they just might be worth GMGM’s trust.
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