Photo credit: Rob Carr
Last time the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets met, Ovechkin got taunted and the Caps lost a slot in the standings. The Caps remembered and came out swinging this game. But then Dale Hunter enacted his formula for something, and everything went to hell.
Thanks to Jeff Halpern, Jason Chimera went cruising along in the O-zone, tucking the puck behind Pavelec with his backhand. Alex Ovechkin recorded two consecutive goals in the second– a subtle wristshot and a loud 6-on-5 one-timer. The Jets rallied back with goals from Maxwell and Little before the second intermission. The Caps had literally no offense (seriously, none) in third until Spencer Machacek tied it up.
Into overtime, where Stapleton won it. Jets beat Caps 4-3 (OT).
The Capitals did it again: they came out tough, and then they retreated. Call it sitting back, playing tight, being conservative. You can argue the vocabulary or the philosophy; all we see are the results. By generating little offense late in the second and none in the third, the Caps let a dominating 3-goal lead evaporate.
It’s not a working strategy. It’s a formula for losers, and it is contrary to the instincts of this team.
This loss isn’t a failure of leadership, of lacking effort, or holey goaltending. This was a deliberate release of the game’s direction by Coach Dale Hunter.
But thanks to Erik Cole’s tour du chapeau naturel, the Habs destroyed the Senators, so our boys gained a little ground. But Vezina lock Henrik Lundqvist gave up 4 to the Sabres, so the Caps are now beating Buffalo for 8th place by a mere tiebreaker.
Here’s our 2nd period intermission video, featuring Coolio!
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