Outsider Game Notes: Caps vs. Isles

Posted November 11, 2009

On this rainy Veteran’s Day, while the region’s eyes were locked on an game that featured two goals in just about the first minute, a goalie change in the first seven, the Capitals overcoming a 3-1 deficit, no Caps penalties in the first two periods but three in the third, and a 30-round shootout (okay, 11, but it seemed like 30), I was busy making these observations behind the scenes:

Commissioner Gary Bettman held a press conference before the game but had absolutely no news to break, which didn’t stop the journalists from peppering him with questions.

Chris Cooley hopped through the press box on crutches. “Where’s Ovie?” he said before someone directed him into a broadcast booth.

During the game, this question was posed on the big screen: “Who has the most game-winning goals in Capitals history?” The options were Alex Ovechkin, Mike Gartner and Peter Bondra, and fans could text their answer. Bondra had the most votes and was the right answer. I was convinced that they would pan the camera onto Bondra, who was sitting behind me in the press box, but they did not.

An odd site: Alex Semin was answering reporters’ questions after the game (he usually doesn’t make an appearance) as a Russian reporter translated. Semin had two goals in regulation, and one in the shoot-out. Unlike a few weeks ago when Ovechkin did the same, only a few hats made their way onto the ice. Semin also made a play which led directly to the Islanders’ third goal. After the game, Bruce Boudreau said about Semin, “He’s scary good when he’s motivated.” Me too, coach.

Yahoo’s Puck Daddy Greg Wyshynski remarked on the one thing that no other journalist dared to mention out loud: They removed the podium and added a table in the press conference room.