Photo: Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports
It is 2016, and the only trend worse than man buns is the Caps looking deader than dead in the first period. Whether the Caps were playing at even-strength, on the power play, or on the penalty kill, they were hardly a dominant force throughout the game.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past nine months or have absolutely no prior knowledge of hockey, guess what? According to the standings, the Caps are the NHL’s best team, and the Leafs are amongst its dregs. After tonight, though, who’d have thunk?
The Caps made an already-iffy first period even worse by taking three penalties (and giving the Leafs’ league-worst power play a chance to climb the rankings.) The Caps’ penalty kill was equally disappointing; the same can’t be said of their first-period offensive outburst. Thanks to a sweet assist by TJ Oshie, Taylor Chorney scored the game’s first goal–and his first since 2011. Not to be outdone, Nicklas Backstrom capitalized on a Leafs turnover to set up Alex Ovechkin with a perfect pass. If you kept watching, good for you.