Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
courtesy of bridgetds
The Caps carried their resurgent power play and a two-game winning streak into last night’s game against Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers. But they came undone through a combination of Philadelphia muscle and poor goaltending. A series of soft shots and deflections got past starting goalie Tomas Vokoun as the Caps fell to the Flyers 5-1.
In the first period, the Caps came out looking like a different team than a month ago. With a disciplined approach they took the action to the Flyers, maintaining the puck in the offensive zone for most of the period with strong physical play. The aggressiveness paid off when the Caps drew two power play chances. But the Caps failed to shoot the puck on the man advantage and were unable to score on Flyers’ netminder Ilya Bryzgalov. The Caps lost the momentum, and tide turned.
The Flyers, meanwhile, shot the puck at every opportunity. Scott Hartnell put Philadelphia ahead 1-0 when he beat Tomas Vokoun between the legs on a clear shot from the top of the faceoff circle after 16 minutes. “I don’t think we had that kind of energy and emotion we had before,” said captain Alex Ovechkin of the first goal. Continue reading
‘bring on the caps’
courtesy of ‘Melody Kramer’
Last night’s game in Philadelphia started out in what seems to be typical Caps fashion this season: get behind by a couple goals, then remember there’s a game going on, play the comeback card, and hope for the best.
It’s a very risky strategy (if you want to spin it that way) and the problem is, doesn’t always work. Especially against teams like the Flyers, who currently sit atop the Eastern Conference. After last night’s 3-2 overtime win, the Flyers are now 8 points ahead of the once-leading Capitals.
Jeff Carter scored 91 seconds in on a wrap-around goal to put the Flyers up 1-0. Claude Giroux wristed one in the second, and the Flyers were looking pretty dominant. And suddenly, the Caps were in the final frame in a very familiar position: behind.
Sunday night’s early evening game against the Flyers was full of opportunities for the Capitals to assert their dominance, but it was Philly that struck first. Nikolay Zherdev scored on the breakaway against Braden Holtby in his first NHL start. Holtby would block 23 of 25 and earn the second star tonight, including three beautiful back-to-back-to-back saves against a Flyers onslaught in the third period.
Eric Fehr and Alexander Semin would chalk up regulation goals in the first and the second for the Capitals, in an offensive performance that was mostly lackluster. The Caps would pepper Bobrovsky with 39 shots, striking just three times tonight. Worse were the missed connections from the Caps offense, which just couldn’t connect on the cross tonight, and had a number of difficulties clearing the puck.
The best chance for the Caps to finish off the Flyers came with 3:55 remaining in the third. Chris Pronger got booked on a double-minor for high-sticking, as he swatted defenseman Dave Steckel in the nose. The physical game was almost entirely in Philly’s corner tonight, with the Flyers outhitting the Caps 30-17, and that’s what got them into the situation that cost them the game. The Caps started overtime playing 5 on 3, and just 29 seconds into the period, Mike Green beat rookie minder Bobrovsky high on a laser shot to claim the victory.
‘Tied Up’ courtesy of ‘clydeorama’
Yes, yes, I know. There’s no actual hockey going on. But, there is.
News came down today that the NHL and NBC have announced the teams and location for the 2009-10 Winter Classic. As expected, it’s in Boston at Fenway Park. Yep, the Boston Bruins hosting. And following prior year NHL logic, the other team will also be a rising powerhouse with a top-notch superstar, right? Like, as expected, the Washington Capitals with Russian powerhouse Alex Ovechkin?
Nope, the League, in its continued head-scratching pathetic screwball logic, has named the hated Philadelphia Flyers as the other team. That’s right, those despicable FLYERS. Supposedly, the decision was made because Philadelphia has a bigger hockey television market than Washington.
Say what? Guess the NHL and NBC forgot about the tremendous buzz the Caps/Pens series put on. Or the continual highlight-reel goals by Ovie, or his mounting hardware from numerous awards, or the fact that the Caps are one of the top five most exciting teams to watch…
Yeah, I know. I don’t get it either. Stupid ****ing Flyers.