The Capitals earned a rousing win over the Ottawa Senators on Thanksgiving Eve, boosted maybe by the reunion of Nick Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Now, one day after perhaps eating too many carbs, that pair will be tested against the league’s hottest team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It’s an early one at Capital One Arena. 5 PM start, to be aired on NBCSWAKKAWAKKAWAKKA. I’m on recap duty, so please give me a fun hockey game to watch and write about.
|Shot Attempt %||52.0%||48.0%|
We’re keeping Ovi and Backy together, plus Grubauer gets the start. Your lines, as reported by the intrepid Isabelle Khushudyan:
Ovechkin – Backstrom – Wilson
Vrana – Kuznetsov – Oshie
Connolly – Eller – DSP
Stephenson – Beagle – Chiasson
Orlov – Niskanen
Orpik – Carlson
Chorney – Bowey
…who Alex Ovechkin’s center is. I wrote that article last spring. I’m not sure if it’s still right, but maybe we’ll find out soon. My thesis was that the Ovechkin got nearly identical possession with both Kuznetsov and Backstrom when they were apart from Karl Alzner’s troubled 2016-17 – but Ovi-Backstrom spent way more time with him.
I wonder if poor, overused Brooks Orpik is having a similar effect this time around. The sample size with Ovi and Backstrom is very small (barely over 30 minutes), but the early returns are encouraging: Orpik had one of his best 5-on-5 games against the Senators on Wednesday. I’d be surprised if the top-six toggle “fixes” this team, but I’d also be happy.
Also, our merch shop has a 20 percent off sale through Monday. Check out the deals.
Chris Cerullo shared a cheeky video about pro wrestling in the last pregame. Allow me now to counter with this article by Dan O’Sullivan from 2014 detailing the corrupt and predatory business practices that have destroyed the bodies and minds of generations of professional wrestlers and their families.
Here’s a fun graf from O’Sullivan:
The fatal drug overdoses, too many to count — Brian Pillman, Brian “Crush” Adams, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, Louie Spicolli. Three of the Von Erich brothers killed themselves; a fourth, the star, David Von Erich, overdosed at the tender age of twenty-five. Macho Man Randy Savage, and his lovely consort, the alluring Miss Elizabeth, are both dead; Miss Elizabeth’s last boyfriend, Lex Luger, is partially paralyzed from a stroke. Dino Bravo was shot dead while watching hockey; his murder has never been solved. Chris Kanyon, the first WWE wrestler to come out as gay, sued McMahon over the “independent contractor” scam, fell out of work, and, suffering from bipolar depression, killed himself. Junkyard Dog fell asleep driving and crashed. Eddie Guerrero died of a heart attack at thirty-eight, so wracked by pain in his final bouts that he could barely wrestle. The list doesn’t end.
Vince McMahon will never again get my dollars or eyeballs.
Headline photo: Patrick McDermott
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