Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An Upward Movement

7-0-0 that is the Caps current record on the season. A team that struggled in the preseason and looked a bit off the first couple games snapped out of it quickly.

The Caps went up against Florida with a 4-0-0 record and the Panthers coming off a game the night before where they beat Tampa Bay 7-4 and killed it on the power play. Vokun, was getting the start against his former team, while former Cap Jose Theodore sat this one out giving a rookie goalie his first start and Jacob Markstrom was solid but he gave up two goals and Vokun..well he gave up none. Caps got the shutout 3-0 and Marcus Johansson continued his impressive play since the Game 1 benching.

Next game the Caps took on the Philadelphia Flyers who came in at 4-0-1. The Flyers got on the board first thanks to a turnover by Sasha Fierce that lead to a breakaway and a 1-0 Flyers lead. Perreault tied it up for the Caps and Alex Ovechkin put the team in the lead with both goals coming in the final two minutes of the 1st frame. After a relatively quiet 2nd period the Caps came out firing in the 3rd period scoring 3 goals in less than 2:30 minutes with Hamrlik, Ovechkin and Joelle finding the back of the net and the Caps sucking the life out of the fans in the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers added one late goal in the 3rd but it wasn't enough. The Caps moved on and had their first and most convincing victory of the season after that dominating 3rd period.

The Caps returned home to face the Detroit Red Wings (5-0-0) in what was expected to be another huge test against one of the NHL's perennial powerhouses. The Wings had played the night before so the Caps were not only facing a tired team but also a back up goalie. For the first ten minutes the Caps played right into the Wings game plan but then the Wings started to get sloppy and started taking penalties. The Caps scored on the Power Play when Mr. Game Over, Mike Green, blasted one past Ty Conklin to give the good guys a 1-0 lead. Sixty-one seconds later MoJo scored on a wrap around and the Verizon Center got loud, even on my TV I could tell, and the wheels started to fall off for the team from the Motor City. 5 minutes into the 2nd Mike Green added his second PPG of the game and the game was essentially over. The Caps did commit some stupid penalties and gave the Wings two 5-on-3 opportunities, one of which they cashed in on and which looked like it could breathe some life back into the veteran team but MP85 sucked the last remaining bits of air out of their tired lungs scoring a goal with only 8 seconds left in the 2nd. In the 3rd, Joelle, Matty P and Backstrom added tallies and the Caps spanked the Wings 7-1. While I try to not get too caught up in this result because as I mentioned it was a back-to-back and a back-up goalie, the win was convincing and a confidence booster.

The Caps are now the final undefeated team in the NHL and headed West to face Edmonton and Vancouver before returning to the phone booth to play the Ducks on November 1st.

Not sure how much of the Edmonton game I'll catch and I hope to stay up for the Vancouver one and will try to update this a bit more regularly. I also intend to do a 3 stars thing for the players I feel played best that night for the Caps, which I will call Stick Taps.

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