Photo: Rob Carr
We’re not particularly happy with the Capitals this season, but compared to Maple Leafs fans we’re the freaking Huxtables. The richest team in the league spends its bullion on goons (plural) and grinders, they proclaim that they alone have cracked the secret of scoring without shooting, and their coach chased Mikhail Grabovski out of town for no discernible reason. If the Caps are ugly, the Leafs are Eric Stoltz in Mask.
And that means almost nothing on a per-game basis. The Leafs had the puck more than the Caps for most of Friday night, which is just silly. Anyway, here’s how scoring went.
Alex Ovechkin streaked onto the ice to score his 32nd of the year, nicely set up by Grabo almost halfway into the game. JVR returned fire by deflecting Phil Kessel’s shot on a power play around the halfway point.
Early in the third, Phil Kessel beat Neuvirth thanks to Karl Alzner’s deflection, but Nicklas Backstrom tied it right back up with trick shot off Jay McClement’s skate. Totally deliberate. Joel Ward occupied the slot to beat Bernier and win the game.
Caps beat Leafs 3-2!
That’s a W, so I’ll take it. I really hoped the Caps would be like, “hey, this is the Leafs. We can beat these guys,” and put a five spot on ’em. That didn’t happen, and this was actually a pretty tight game, particularly in the first half. I didn’t expect that from two teams with propensities to explode and self-destruct. Toronto’s decline into fiasco seems inevitable and I was just hoping the Caps could pile on before that happens. I guess I’ll settle for the two standings points and a precious regulation win, but I hope the boys don’t play down to their competition again on Sunday.
It was a slobberknocker, and Joel Ward got back on the horse, but that’s probably not how we want the Caps to play every night, right?
Here’s the part where I’d muse about goalie usage and Adam Oates, but I’ll let you guys do that this time. Michal Neuvirth wasn’t exactly under fire in his net, but he certainly did well. Whether that changes his trade value or intention to leave, I have no idea. I’m just glad he’s working again.
Two wins in a row! Have a great Friday, y’all, and we’ll see you back here on Sunday afternoon.
— RMNB (@russianmachine) January 11, 2014
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