So the Caps trade their first-line center, completely sleepwalk through the first eight minutes of the first period, then manage to make the rest of the game worth watching. Strange, strange game.
- After being complete zombies throughout the first half of the first period, Washington got back to playing the manic, high-energy style that marked their success earlier in the season. It was a welcome sight, maybe next time they start that at the beginning of the game.
- According to my count, the Caps had all of the 30+ year old players in their line up tonight: Brashear (35), Muir (33), and Cassivi (31). (Chris Clark is 30, Kolzig is 35, both injured)
- Brian Pothier had a tough defensive game early.
- The power play almost looked competent. The Caps really seemed to simplify things, and that went a long way to keeping possession and getting shots on net.
- Steve Eminger had several glaring turnovers, and Shaone Morrisonn had several odd defensive reads.
- The Caps did a relatively good job of staying out of the box without giving up their aggressiveness
- Boyd Gordon threw two hits on the same shift, though he was credited with none, for some reason. Kris Beech played as physically as I’ve seen him, as well.
- Olie Jokinen? Bad man.
- Speaking of bad men, Ovechkin looked like it was mid January of ’06. Speed, decently positionally, committed on the forecheck, and generally rambunctious. Good to see.
- I’m not sure how Alexander Semin didn’t figure in the scoring. He and Ovechkin really seemed to have chemistry tonight.
- Brian Sutherby’s offensive resurgence continues. Of course, being teamed up with a hot Ovechkin doesn’t hurt.
The Caps clearly showed the effect of trading Zubrus, whom they used in all situations and was a leader for the team. Ovechkin’s first goal seemed to shake them out of the funk. Even though they lost in a shootout, the way they came back after such a terrible start was heartening. Next stop: not having a bad start.