the Caps trail Columbus by 6 points and have 3 games left—not goping to happen. Get out the golf clubs Ovie.
When a puck is making its way slowly toward an empty net, threatening to stop on the snow that has accumulated in the crease before it crosses the goal line, most players would swat the puck in the cage themselves. Nicklas Backstrom isn’t like most players.
Late in the Capitals game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday at Verizon Center Troy Brouwer banked the puck off the boards to clear it out of the defensive zone.
As the puck caromed through the neutral zone and toward the empty net, Backstrom had raced in front of Toronto defensemen Dion Phaneuf and Morgan Rielly in pursuit.
But rather than tap the puck in himself for what would have been his 14th goal of the year, Backstrom simply shielded it from the Maple Leafs so that when it did cross the line to wrap up a 4-2 Capitals’ win it would also stand as Troy Brouwer’s 20th goal of the year.
“That was the best, most unselfish play I’ve ever seen in my entire hockey career and it just sums up – I’ve already tweeted it I’m so happy about it ,” Karl Alzner told reporters in Washington after the game. “It is the best move a person can do and that I’ve ever seen. That just sums up the type of person he is.”
Said Coach Adam Oates: “That’s a very unselfish thing. He’s smart enough he probably knows he didn’t have the assist on it either, so he doesn’t get a point. Which we all know that too. Just a fantastic thing. That’s who he is.”
from the Washington Post
Some comments after the Caps win their 2nd game without Ovie
The Caps are 13-8-2 in games played without #8–interesting
Nicholas Backstrom scored the clinching shootout goal
Coach Adam Oates commented on the absence of Ovie– “You’re still patching the dike in a sense. You don’t want to lose anybody, let alone your star,” Oates said. “It proves your team is still a solid hockey team.”
Neuvirth had 32 saves and basically saved the Caps who were not as sharp as on Friday night
Former Cap Tomas Fleischmann tied the game on a power play which ended a streak of 35 power play kills for Washington
Next up for the Caps —Tuesday night at Verizon against the Isles
1st Period Summary
Caps got off to a horrible start with some lackadaisical defensive play, as Brian Boyle scored 53 seconds into the game. From that point on the Caps won all the fights but the Rangers had all the scoring chances. Braden Holtby made several acrobatic saves especially on the Rangers’ 2 power plays. In the closing minute Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped Backstrom point blank. 1 zip Rangers in this crucial 5th game.
2nd Period Summary
Where is Ovie? Mike Ribeiro missed 2 scoring chances but suckered Brian Boyle into a slashing penalty. A few seconds into the power play Joel Ward scored in front of the cage on a feed from Backstrom to knot the game at 1. Tonight is Tom Wison’s 1st NHL game – pretty unusual. Strong energy. The Rangers failed to score on 2 more power plays making them 0-4 for the night. 1-1 after 2.
Matthieu Perreault gets jack hammered into the boards by Del Zotto but the Caps fail to capitalize on the power play. The caps continue to apply the pressure– 13:46 left. At the 9 minute mark Unleash the Fury reigns down on the Verizon Center. With so much on the line cautious play has creeped in. The Caps continue to try for the perfect play but its just not happening. Holtby makes a few saves after a loose pass by Joel Ward almost cost the Caps. 2 minutes left in regulation. Going to Overtime. This isn’t what the Caps wanted.
Tremendous 10 minute stretch including a combined 14 shot on goal with several near misses. Mike Ribeiro ended the game when he scored his 1st goal of the series. Caps go up 3-2 with game 6 in New York on Sunday.
There’s been enough said about the playoff history of the Washington Capitals. But I do believe this team is different—maybe. The Caps won the division and thus earned the home playoff advantage. Game 5 tonight hopefully will create a result that takes advantage of the home edge. Ovie and Rebeir0 were somewhat quiet in New York although 3 goals should always be enough to win a playoff game. I look for that to change tonight. Both have been spectacular at home. My crystal ball says Caps 4 Rangers 2 at Verizon.
Who would have thought it could happen when the Caps were 2-8. Putting together a 10-1 April streak did the job for Washington. As Alex Ovechkin scored his 13th goal in April the Caps finished off the Jets. The guys bought into Adam Oates’ system and it totally paid off.
“I remember 20 games ago looking at the schedule,” said Mathieu Perreault, one of five Capitals to score a goal Tuesday. “Like, ‘Man, we’re probably going to have to go 16-4 to get in’ — and basically did it. It almost looked impossible if you look back 20 games, but this team has got so much character, and they found a way to do it.”
“We had a lousy start,” Oates said. “And I don’t think many of us thought we would come this far. But we obviously put some really good hockey together, and the guys have grown and it’s obviously a good feeling right now.”
Braden Holtby made but one mistake tonight and it was costly. With the score knotted at 1, Holtby (who compiled 35 saves) made a bad pass from behind the net which landed right on the stick of Conacher, who easily made it 2-1 on the turnover.
“I got a little rushed with the pressure on me,” said Holtby. “I had to make a blind pass and didn’t execute it.”
The Caps clearly came out flat night after 2 emotional home wins, and paid the price. Their lead over Winnipeg has shrunk to just 2 points. Ovie was held in check tonight. #9 Mike Ribeiro scored the lone goal for Washington.The final minutes saw few tieing chance and eventually the Caps were closed out by an empty net goal.
So it’s off to Montreal on Saturday night before the Caps return to Verizon for what will surely be the biggest game of the year against Winnipeg. Though the defeat hurt, I still like the Caps chances.
It’s hard to believe that after the sorry start for Washington, the Caps are in the catbird seat as they ready to face Toronto Tuesday night at Verizon. 4 points up over Winnipeg but the key is that one more game exists between the 2 and it will be played in DC next Tuesday night. The schedule maker threw the Caps a bone because Winnipeg will be playing in Buffalo Monday night, thus a back to back with the biggest game of the year on the tail end. Six games left, the Caps are playing off the charts but why do I think next Tuesday will be crucial?
As #8 and Backstrom continue to pile up the stats, who do you think the leading producer at Verizon has been this year. Surprise it’s Mike Ribeiro. #9 is a magician. When you factor in the fact that Ovie gets the true prime offensive scoring opportunities, it’s easy to make a case for Ribeiro being the guy who might just take the Caps to the promised land. Ribeiro has turned Troy Brouwer into a think score first guy. Everyone Ribeiro touches steps up a notch. He has been the missing link in a playoff run that has been non-existent in DC.
Preview of Maryland vs Johns Hopkins with Blue Jay Coach Dave Pietramala right at 9AM
New Loyola Coach GG Smith will check in around 9:25
Adam Jones Misplays fly ball into Oriole Loss in New York
Update onthe Masters with PGA Coach and Player Pat Coyner
Comments on Zack Greinke — Quentin Smith fracas in San Diego
Ravens sign former Bama LB Rolando McClain
Nationals have it all–only injuries can take them down
Capitals are ona roll into the NHL Playoffs
Can anyone stop the Heat–I doubt it
Tremendous goal keeping of Michal Neuvirth allowed the Caps to survive a late relentless assault from Mikhail Grigorenko and the Buffalo Sabres. The Caps started slow and trailed 1-0 until Joel Ward dented the nets. John Erskine scored the go ahead in the 2nd period, and Ovie finished the scoring for Washington.
Newcomer Mike Ribeiro was allover the ice and contributed 2 assists. In my eyes it was a must win win for DC due to the shortened season. 5th game—no wins in a 48 game season could have proven disastrous. The Heat is on to get to 500.
Some of the topics on tonight’s show:
Review of season and preview of 1st Round game vs Lehigh
Preview of Saturday’s game vs UMass for the Lady Terps
Review of Student Athlete Awards Night at College Park
My night with Frank Deford
Terrapin Nine Defeats FSU on National TV
Steve Blake becomes integral part of the Lakers
Tyler Steinhardt from Boys Latin will be in the house to discuss next month’s Lax Marathon
Katie Schwarzmann named ACC Player of the Year in Lacrosse