It’s becoming plainly obvious that Verizon Center is home to the worst sheet of ice in the entire NHL. This was Mike Vogel’s question to Tom Poti in the Caps’ locker room after†Monday night’s†game: “In the second period it looked like you were playing ball hockey out there.” This was Poti’s reply:
“That’s how it is every night here . . . it’s pretty embarassing, to be blunt.”†
- “We beat ourselves tonight,” Tom Poti told media in the locker room after Monday’s†3-1 loss to Buffalo. Coach Boudreau amplified: “We played as hard as them, just not as smart as them.”†A team can rarely turn the puck over as the Caps did Monday night against a “great transition team” in Boudreau’s words and survive.††
- Game 3†in the†Boudreau regime, and the 3rd game with a fire in the bellies of the boys. This night, however, there was a copious amount of turnovers accompanying the desire-fire.
- The Erskine-Peters dance card:†pretty effective†job by Erskine . . .†narrow decision†to Erskine?
- The most impressive aspect of Ovechkin’s goal was his refusal to give up on the play. What do you call this power surge move he makes from the wing, racing in, legs churning, defenders often perfectly positioned, which ends with his willing himself to score a goal? We the OFB team and our readers need to put our creative thinking caps on and try and name this seemingly unprecedented, fast-action†scoring swoop of†determined desire and pure prodigy.
- Is it beginning to look to anyone else besides us that Mike Green is emerging (already emerged?) as this hockey’s team’s most dynamic presence on the power play point? And not by default, either.
- Kolzig with a five-bell, four-alarm fabulous stop on Hecht in the third.
- It pains us to say it, but Michael Nylander pulled an Esa†Tikkanen late in the third. (Admittedly with the stakes not quite so high.) It was that kind of night for Michael Nylander. he authored two deadly turnovers in the second period that facilitated Buffalo’s lasting 3-1 lead. Then, deep in the third, while in the crease behind Ryan Miller, he maneuvered the puck†everywhere but into the net, off a rebound of an Alexander Semin shot. You might not see such ill-timed infamy again the rest of the season.†After the game, Boudreau told the press that had the Caps gotten that second goal, he felt the momentum achieved from it would have willed them to a tying goal.†
- Viktor Kozlov: an enigma wrapped in a mystery. So much skill, so much size, so much sizzle accompanied†by too much fizzle. His numbers this season aren’t bad at all, but you consider what’s in his toolbox, and you’re left puzzled by the frequency with which he authors impact-free shifts.
Now more than a quarter of the way through the season, the Caps have four players in double digits in scoring. The Montreal Canadiens, picked by no small number of forecasters to finish outside the Eastern conference’s top eight but currently fifth, have nine players in double digits in scoring. Such balance is difficult to defend. ††