I thought we were going to see a hockey game tonight.
“We did…the Caps and the Flames”
That was hockey?...all they did was whack each other’s sticks, take penalties, and skate around the middle of the ice.
“Well, son…that’s called ‘Keenan hockey.’”
“Yes, son, it is.”
Boring or not – and the Caps did their level best to lift the excitement level on “Back to the ‘90’s” night – the good guys skated off with a 3-2 win to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive and give Olaf Kolzig his 300th career win, all as a member of the Capitals. So bore away, Flames, bore away.
On the other hand, Alex Ovechkin – the subject of his own personal camera following him around – had two goals, including the game-winner, 11 shots, more than 24 minutes of ice time…we’re guessing fans got their money’s worth following him around.
The story, though, was Kolzig. He looked very rusty in the first ten minutes, allowing rebounds on shots he would normally swallow up or steer out of trouble. But once he had his legs under him, he was superb.
There were some pretty funky numbers in this one, as well as good news elsewhere…
John Erskine skated eight shifts for the night – three of them ended in penalties…he had two of them. Erskine skated only one shift in the second period, taking a penalty.
The minutes Erskine relinquished were picked up by Mike Green, who finished with 30:58. His even strength time alone (18:53) was more than the total time of 12 skaters. His 11:33 of power play time was more than the total for four other skaters.
If the Caps come up short in the stretch drive, it won’t be because Ovechkin failed to deliver. In six March games, he is now 8-6-14, +7. This was his 11th multi-goal game of the year and his 27th multi-point game.
Kolzig is now 6-3-2, 2.18, .923 since February 1st. Anyone think he’s been the problem?
Speaking of problem, how many chances did the Caps have tonight that they didn’t bury…Alexander Semin had Kiprusoff down and an open net and couldn’t get a backhand past the fallen goalie. Matt Bradley sent a puck behind Kiprusoff and through the crease. Ditto Tomas Fleischmann (who had his two chances, which coach Bruce Boudreau says he gets every game…he really needs to bury these). Eric Fehr had a chance from in close that Kiprusoff snatched with his glove. Ditto Ovechkin, who was left to gaze into the rafters.
In the points watch…Ovechkin needs four goals for 60, three points for 100, and he has two home games coming up. There seems to be a convergence taking place – the Caps remaining playoff chances might hinge on his hitting both this weekend.
Sergei Fedorov had perhaps his best game as a Cap. He didn’t register anything on the score sheet, but he was more dominant in the offensive zone than he has been in earlier games, and he was very good in the circle (winning 12 of 21 draws).
Perhaps it was a bad night for them, but it was painful to watch any other group than
This was only the sixth one-goal loss in regulation for
Ninth straight 17,000+ home crowd.
The Caps caught a break tonight, as both teams in front of them –
Five points out…11 games to play. Philly still has three games against the Penguins, two against the Devils, two against the Rangers.
This could yet be an interesting finish.