Photo credit: John Woods
The Washington Capitals looked like a troubled team before Saturday’s game at the Winnipeg Jets. With a grinder on their top line, a goal-scorer in Wojtek Wolski scratched in favor of a tough guy, and more injured players than you can shake a groin at, expectations were low for the early afternoon rumble in Manitoba. For twenty minutes, those expectations were met, and then the Capitals took control of their destiny and looked like a damn fine hockey club.
And oh yeah: Braden Holtby.
Caps beat Jets 3-0.
I love how the Caps came back from a really bad first period. Lucky to be scoreless after a sad opening twenty minutes, the Caps recommitted themselves to offense in the back 40 (is “back 40” a thing in hockey? If not, can it become a thing?). Last game I took issue with the apparent habit of the Caps to get all jammed up. That definitely didn’t happen in Manitoba today.
That’s a sign of good leadership, which is something you’re really not gonna hear from the hockey media, who are more interested in increasing their public profile than actually enlightening their audiences. Alex Ovechkin (4 shots, 1 assist) was great today, and that’s what really matters. You can say he’s not “a real man” if you’re a chauvinistic ass, but I saw Alex grin like a schoolboy when he suckered Mark Stuart into a double-minor. Hashtag leadership.
And, oh yeah, one last thing: Braden Holtby is still incredible. When the Caps were seeing a fusillade in the first, I said Holtby was only thing that would stop this from becoming a blowout. Holtby did his job perfectly and inspired the skaters ahead of him to do theirs too. Nine straight starts, most of them sterling. No player has turned around his season more dramatically than Holtby, who looks more like a true NHL star with every passing day.
ANGRY HENDRICKS. And Karl’s parody of Hendricks’ face. twitter.com/callyourbluff/…
— Katie Brown (@callyourbluff) March 2, 2013
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