The Gladiators entered the Coliseum, got their hockey pants kicked, and left...
We the People… still fall for Tampa’s trap
Everyday, the silent majority get louder and louder, thanks in no small part to the innovative invention of Twitter. So when Verizon shakes and TVs are thrown, everyone’s reactions explode into 140 characters (or less) of awkward brilliance. While you may love your 15 followers, we here at Capitals Outsider want to make sure they aren’t the only ones to hear your in-game gems. Make it snazzy folks. #wethepeople #caps
The Caps have a trend of flipping trends.
Ilya Bryzgalov is horrible in shootouts. The Flyers won in the shootout. The Bruins are almost unbeatable in the shootout. The Caps humiliated Thomas. The Tampa Bay Lightning have their special teams scraping the off the league’s barnacles. In one night, they not only score on the power play, but effectively kill two against them.
Dwayne Roloson is operating with a .885 save percentage and 3.71 goals against average and in the two games before Monday’s against Washington, he let in a total of 10 goals. Yet he is the one skating off with the 4-2 win and a highlight reel save.
The Capitals like to play a flashy game, the same kind that evil genius/crazy man Tampa coach Guy Boucher loves to shut down. Which is exactly why when half the audience was lulled to sleep after the first period, Boucher probably carried his creepy smile into the Lightning’s locker room.
Led by penalty kill extraordinaires Jay Beagle and Brooks Laich, the Caps back-to-back penalties on Matt Hendricks and Alex Semin (oh, Captain Hook, how we missed thee), were no problem in the first period. But a power play later on showed deep flaws in Washington’s system, which is now adjusting to Nicklas Backstrom.
Semin’s line took the lead in the second period, stunning the crowd and validating Pierre McGuire’s hatred for the 28-year-old winger when his shot went off the post. Seconds later, Mathieu Perreault won a faceoff, chased down Karl Alzner‘s deflected shot to the right board, and slid it to Semin, who sniped it unguarded from center.
The Russian’s signature smile was on display not just for the fans, but for all his haters at NBC Sports.
— Colleen M (@ColleenMcM) April 3, 2012
Mike Milbury sheds a tear every time Semin scores. — Sean Hartnett (@HartnettWFAN) April 3, 2012
That goal by Semin was literally on fire, still see the streak on the ice. #CapsBolts
— natashasweeting (@Robn44) April 3, 2012
(That last one is a factual error. Tampa Bay’s ice always looks like that.)
But let’s be realistic. This is the Washington Capitals, and the Washington Capitals don’t keep leads. Thus Teddy Purcell scored a career-high 21st goal on the power play, and Victor Hedman came in 25 seconds later to close out the period.
Remember that highlight reel save I talked about? No? Ask Mike Green about it.
As bad as the Caps are with leads, they’re even better at comebacks. With a fight (which he lost) already under his belt and his line continuously heating up the game, Jason Chimera played his usual role of mean on wheels, driving to the net late in the third period. Tampa Bay still held a 2-1 lead, and the Caps had been battling for 16 minutes to get through the molasses that is the trap. With Perreault following suit — despite the fact that he was knocked down every time before — Chimera finally ended up in the right place at the right time, scoring into an empty net on a feed from Semin.
getting above average on my physics exam when i don’t go to class makes me a happy person and when chimera scores #caps!
— Amanda Casey (@amandacasey31) April 3, 2012
Turns out, the Caps can’t keep a tie either. That or Steven Stamkos is really good. What’s that? He’s the league-leading goal-scorer? 56? Make that 57; wait, 58, there’s an empty net and two seconds left. Yes, he just scored, but he’s aiming for 60 and there’s only three games left in the season.
But seriously, who’s the real stud here?
JASON CHIMERA YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL WILD STALLION.
— Ana (@kickxdrumxheart) April 3, 2012