“Why Me? Or something like that”

[Due to issues with our server, Wednesday’s game recap was not able to be posted until now. We thank you for your patience.]

What’s the first thing that goes through your mind as a penalty killer when your stick breaks in a 5 on 3?

“‘Why me?’ or something like that,” Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz said. “But then it’s just having to sacrifice your body and block shots when possible.”

Lucky for Schultz, it wasn’t his stick that broke  in the Capitals’ 5-on-3 penalty situation last night against the Winnipeg Jets — it was teammate Brooks Laich’s. And the tension escalated at the first stoppage of play on that PK; with Matt Hendricks looking suspiciously close to a scuffle, Laich came to stand with his teammate and, as the ref stepped in, found Nik Antropov, who looked like he was trying to remove Laich’s helmet by unfastening the chin strap (yes, it looked as awkward as it sounds). The two ended up with matching roughing calls and had to sit in the box as Jeff Halpern, Karl Alzner, Troy Brouwer and Tomas Vokoun finished off the successful PK for the Capitals.

The Capitals wrapped up with a 4-3 win in overtime thanks to Jason Chimera’s second goal of the night. Post-game, Chimera credited his linemates this season (last night Laich and Semin, but often Joel Ward and Laich) for his breakout success–his NHL career-high is 17 goals in a season, and he already has 8 since this season began. Mike Knuble almost got his third goal of the year, but it was ruled no-goal on a questionable call by the ref, who thought Hendricks got in the way of Jets goalie Ondrej Pavalec.

Hear Ted Starkey (author of Transition Game) and OFB’s Elisabeth Meinecke discuss the physicality of the game, the momentum-changing PK, and the effects of the Knuble almost-goal. Thanks to The Hockey Writers’ Angie Lewis for filming!

 

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