The Caps played better in Game Two against the New York Islanders, but better is relative. I’m grading on a curve, and that first game was a wet-brained, crayon-scribbled essay on “Canada is a land of contrasts.” Game Two was an only slightly insufficient PowerPoint on World War II that had too many transitions and maybe used Clip Art tastelessly.
Alex Ovechkin scored on his first shift, a slick sequence with some soccer moves. But the Caps faltered by the midway mark of the first period. The Isles punished them with a power-play goal by Nick Leddy and an even-strength layup by Matt Martin as the Caps got lost in their own zone. Alex Ovechkin got his second goal of the game by deflecting a big Brenden Dillon shot, but Brock Nelson responded immediately on a breakaway. Cal Clutterbuck banked a safety goal in the waning minutes of the third, and the guy who injured Backstrom got an empty-netter.
Isles bet Caps 5-2. Isles lead the series 2-0.
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) August 15, 2020
This has happened before, but every time it happens it merits discussing: Alex Ovechkin is great. Even when his team loses interest, Ovi just loves to celebration, loves to goals. He had two in this game and came scant inches from completing the hat trick.
(Interlude: In Overwatch League, there’s a prop stat called a Carpe Deadlift, which is when one player wins a map while getting the majority of his team’s eliminations. Ovechkin does the Carpe Deadlift all the damn time. He’s the best.)
But he’s not enough. The rest of his team is missing in action. They’re a step behind, their passes are off, and they’re sloppy as hell in their own zone.
Down in a two-game hole, the Caps have a big brunch coming up. Sunday at high noon, they’ll face the Isles again, but this time on the unfriendly road ice of oh nevermind it is still Toronto. Join me, won’t you, for Washington’s sudden but inevitable comeback. These manipulative sons of guns aren’t just gonna roll over. I think?
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