Photo credit: Scott Audette
Welcome back, everybody! After 250+ days, we’ve finally got new Capitals hockey to watch and kinda enjoy. I say kinda because these Capitals, whom those not dissuaded by cliché might call the new-look Caps, didn’t have their act together on Saturday. Opening the season in Tampa, the Capitals had troubles with even-strength offense and all kinds of special-teams stuff.
Eric Brewer scored the first anti-Caps goal of the year with an outside shot that caught Holtby screened by his own defenders. Joel Ward tied it up with a first-period powerplay goal assisted by Tom “Iron Groin” Poti. That tie was shortlived, as Vincent Lecavalier exploited a defensive breakdown by Holtby & co. to score an easy one.
Joel Ward recorded a second goal to tie the game early in the second period, but Martin St. Louis restored the Tampa lead with a powerplay sweep-in a few minutes later. Wojtek Wolski ingratiated himself to Caps fans with a crucial four-on-four goal late in the second, knocking a rebound past Anders Lindbäck.
Martin St. Louis got his second of the night, a heartbreaking shot from outside during a third-period 5 on 3. Cory Conacher scored the first goal of his career, also the night’s proverbial dagger, on a 3-on-1 breakaway. Ryan Malone scored on the powerplay to make it painfully obvious that the Caps were gonna lose.
Bolts beat Caps 6-3.
Game one of an abbreviated 48-game campaign is in the books. The lesson, in short: The Caps still have a lot of work to do. At even-strength, on the power play, while a man down, the Caps are not yet at the performance level we need them at. And considering this season is more of a sprint than a marathon, there is no shortage of motivation for them to get their acts together.
Adam Oates is a smart guy, and this is a talented hockey team. I think they’ll get it done. What do you think?
On a personal note, thanks for coming back to RMNB for another season of hockey jokes and more hockey jokes. I fully intend to write about games that are won, and those might be kinda funny. So stick with us. We’re in it together now.
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