If you thought Thursday’s Capitals vs. Jets game had one of the weirdest endings of any recent NHL game, you’re not alone. Four goals in the third period–one on a Dustin Byfuglien shot from center ice that deflected off Karl Alzner’s stick– sent a game that had been previously scoreless into overtime and finally a shootout (which the Capitals lost in three rounds; their shooters were Ovechkin, Semin, and Perreault, with only Ovechkin scoring).
Yes, it’s disconcerting the Capitals blew a 2-0 lead in the third. But Byfuglien’s goal to tie the game was hands down one of those fluke hockey plays that have to be considered outliers rather than indicative of poor defensive play. More frustrating was the huge role played by the penalties that the Capitals took late in the game, which gave the Jets a chance for a 6 on 3.
Ted Starkey and yours truly analyze different aspects of Thursday’s game below, and how Brooks Laich’s minutes are being distributed since head coach Dale Hunter is letting Laich ease back into a heavier workload after leaving Sunday’s game injured (Laich finished with just under 8 minutes). Also, is Marcus Johansson relying too much on passing–and not taking the shot on goal when he has the better opening and Ovechkin doesn’t–now that he’s often paired with the Great Eight?