Thursday, November 25, 2010

Almost Everybody Pucks Tonight

To begin the heavy night of pucking, the Capitals went into Carolina and played one hell of a game, almost losing entirely a 2-0 lead, but keeping enough composure together to win 3-2 against the Hurricanes.

Washington was coming off of a 3-game losing stretch, going down 5-0 in Atlanta Friday night, losing 5-4 in the shootout a hard-fought match with the Flyers at home, and then dying in New Jersey 5-0 again at the hands of the Devils. All we could do back home was go, "What the puck is going on here?!"

Bruce Boudreau apparently had no particular answer either, except for a comment about how Alex Ovechkin wasn't pushing enough pedal; seeing as Ovie was laughing, joking around with the enemy while being down a gazillion to nothing.

Hilariously enough, much was made about the incident and people drew to the fact that Ovie has been slacking in general, and hasn't been the same exciting player that we have all seen up to two years ago, and even last year. Many arguments can be made on this, but we'll save for another day.

So today comes and Washington is in Carolina. Ovechkin only did what the special players do, and that was rise to the occasion. He assisted on all three goals, set up a ton of opportunities, made a few bone-crushing hits and played a smart game overall. Ultimately, it all led to a Capitals victory. So suck on that.

All in all, the Caps seemed all right tonight, meaning that they continue to arguably be the biggest enigma in the NHL. Now tied with the Flyers for the league lead in points with 32, the Capitals have a lot wrong with them, but you can't quite put your finger on it if you don't watch them on a regular basis. Even then, you can't say it's one thing or another. Again; the team that's "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma," to quote Winston Churchill in reference to the Soviets in WWII..... Carry on.....

Anywho, the Caps weren't the only team that played tonight. In fact, 12 other games were on tonight, so it was an all-nighter in terms of pucking. A good number of slumping teams got out of their slumps actually...

The Canucks had a four-game skid, but were able to break out of it winning 4-2 against the Avalanche tonight, who were actually doing fairly well recently on a four-game winning streak

The Sharks played at home in a good one with the Blackhawks, who have faced their own inconsistencies this year. With the Sharks uncharacteristically low in the qualifying group of 16 at 15th, they showed remnants of the usual Sharks in their 5-2 win, creating opportunities and scoring with the extra man.

The Blues got Barrett Jackman back from a knee injury, and it seems they'll be able to get a lot of guys back from injury soon, probably helping their cause for being relevant in Stanley Cup run-talks again. They won 2-1 over Nashville in the shootout.

Other teams weren't so lucky. The Western Conference leading Red Wings got whooped today by the Thrashers 5-1. Atlanta may not always be able to demolish the Caps 5-0 and get the Red Wings like this, but they seem to be making a good case for not being an Eastern Conference pretender.

Minnesota Wild lost 6-1 to the "I'm gonna establish my dominance in every damn game" Flyers, and the Kings lost to the Canadiens, who are also pulling major success (my love for Carey Price grows with each game). Tampa Bay also seemed to be picking up where they left off prior to coming to Washington, as they beat the "pretending to win for now" Rangers 5-3.

Other games included a 4-3 Blue Jackets win over the Islanders (more fail unfortunately for the Island); the first win in the Blue Jacket's new third jerseys that look ALMOST EXACTLY like the Panthers and Predators blue jerseys with the circle in the middle. But the subtle differences make the jersey still look pretty cool (I have the inside info like that *wink*).

Also, the Stars defeated the Senators 2-1, the Devils win over the Flames 2-1, and the Bruins beat the Panthers 3-1.

For Turkey Day, the only game that will be featured will be the Avs killing the Oilers. I certainly hope it's not a bloodbath like the Coyotes 5-0 win over Edmonton on Tuesday, the other one-game day (Read THW's Jim Neveau's piece on the Coyotes that he wrote last night to get an idea of where the Yotes stand).

It was a crazy fun day in hockey for sure. But what's even crazier for me still is the fact that I was notified on Monday, the 24th that I had been approved to receive credentials for the Bridgestone Winter Classic in Pittsburgh that will feature the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field! I will be representing The Hockey Writers, and you bet I'm extremely excited :).

I'm currently searching for plane + hotel deals that I shall figure out as soon as next week. But if anyone has any suggestions for things to do in Pittsburgh, hotel parties on New Year's Eve, hotels, deals, bars, anything, please let me know! Cause it would suck to be in my early 20's on NYE drinking champagne by myself in a hotel room XD. Nonetheless though, that's not the point. I'm there for a job, and a really cool one at that! I'm really excited and it'll be a great early birthday present for me!

Until next pucking session, pig out! Happy Thanksgiving!
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