The Washington Capitals are finally doing something Caps Outsider has been begging...
We the People…Drop it in Canada
Original photo by Alena Schwarz. Photoshopped by Taylor Lewis.
Everyday, the silent majority gets louder, thanks in no small part to the innovative invention of Twitter. So when Verizon shakes and TVs are thrown, reactions can explode into 140 characters (or less) of awkward brilliance. While you may love your followers, we here at Capitals Outsider want to make sure they aren’t the only ones to see your in-game gems. #wethepeople
So, this is what happened tonight. The Caps were on an upswing from a decent game in New Jersey and their first win against Buffalo. The Ottawa Senators came in with two losses, the most recent was to the Penguins in a shootout involving James Neal, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
But in the end, all of Washington’s progress wasn’t enough to protect a two-goal lead, and the Senators won 3-2.
(Full disclosure: Initially this recap was going to include a good bit of analysis on Ovechkin, but Twitter kind of hates him, like a lot. Except for maybe two people.)
This was another game for the grinders. While the opening period saw decent play from most of the team, the only “star” to get a point was Nicklas Backstrom. The one to get the glory of that goal though was Troy Brouwer, who has seemingly taken the place of Mike Knuble in Caps cult fandom.
GO GO BROUWER RANGER, MIGHTY CHECKIN BROUWER RANGERRRRR. #Caps
— Dave (@DashingDave314) January 30, 2013
Fun fact: He has more points than P.K. Subban.
I drop Troy Brouwer from my fantasy team to pick up the Subbanator. Brouwer scores a goal. You’re welcome, #Caps fans.
— Ryan Boushell (@RBoushell) January 30, 2013
And four minutes later it was Matt Hendricks with a tip-in off a shot from Jay Beagle.
Hendricks + Beagle, I dig it
— Brittney Shackelford (@5ft_Hurricane) January 30, 2013
After leaning so heavily on their stars a few years ago, it is somewhat refreshing to see consistent secondary scoring. While it’s still early in the season, it’s also somewhat disconcerting to see Joel Ward, Hendricks and Brouwer as the only Capitals with two goals or more. Especially when you’re paying two players a combined $16.2 million annually for the next six/seven years to, well, score goals.
With faith waning in Alex Ovechkin and more or less Backstrom, the experiments of Dale Hunter and now Adam Oates are greeted with less and less “wait and see.” But more on that later.
Lack of scoring wasn’t what killed the Caps in the third period. As Craig Laughlin loves to point out the importance of a late/early period scoring, Jim O’Brien’s goal with less than two minutes left in the second period marked the beginning of the end. Milan Michalek tying the game less than three minutes into the third just pumped the Senators up even more.
In a horrible twist of fate for him, Ward was the recipient of Washington’s latest penalty problem, putting late-period pressure on the penalty killers. Unfortunately, the 25th-ranked unit couldn’t keep Sergei Gonchar’s slapshot out of the net.
Bad News: that was not a penalty by Ward and #caps gave up a PP goal. Good news: Back on the Popeye, Jr. Sweepstakes.
— Tracy Tran (@tracytran) January 30, 2013
Ugh. Of course Sergei would get the dagger. My inner child is weeping.
— Alex Blaksley (@not_ovechkin) January 30, 2013
And as promised, Ovechkin commentary.
As Keith Jones pointed out on NBCSN, the 27-year-old’s playing issues stem from a multitude of issues. The league getting used to him, going through several systems in a short period of time, aging, experimentation, etc. All that in addition to whatever personal issues he may be having, whether they be related to hockey and the Washington Capitals organization or not.
To put things in context, Ovechkin has never had less than 30 goals in a season. The past two in which he has have been those of transition from Bruce Boudreau trying to make the team more defensive to Hunter actually putting in a rigid defensive system. Fans will have to wait some more to see if Oates is the right fit, not just for Ovechkin, but for all the Capitals.
— Jesse Mitchell (@jals) January 30, 2013
Or, you know, that.