I'm sorry. I know I'm not supposed to. I hate losing and I hate losing to Pittsburgh. Get out of our faces, Penguins, or our captain will hit you with a hockey puck from the roof of a building. But there were so many good things--and there were so many new things, and things that you would never expect to see from this hockey team. Grit. Snarl. Aggressive backcheck. If hockey games were determined by any metric other than goals scored, Caps would have run away with the game. (Logic!)
As it is--there's some patient mending going on, there's a slow build--and there's some Spirit of Dale starting to seep through, apparent in specific players so far but spreading to everyone. All of the sudden, this team's got some teeth. Apparently we are also supposed to score goals or something, and that has been problematic. Net? Puck? The Capitals are confused.
This team is a work in progress. We are starving for goals and we might die soon, but if we keep up building a forecheck from solid defensive play, the goals will come. Will they ever. 2-1. 43 hits. The Caps refuse to roll over anymore.
I don't have to stretch and grin through my teeth for highlights tonight, they were everywhere. John Erskine was a man possessed, running all over the ice destroying Penguin after Penguin.
First he dropped the gloves with noted horrible person Arron Asham and took him down, because he's a fucking man and that's what you do when someone concusses one of your teammates and then behaves like a dick about it.
Then he ran over Malkin AND snatched the puck in the process.
GET OUT OF THE WAY EVGENI MALKIN, ERSKINE HAS PLACES TO BE.
Your Scoring Leader Jason Chimera, still your scoring leader Jason Chimera, scores with a beautiful backhand shelf shot. Anyone who is criticizing his ability to finish at this point is basically an idiot.
Our PK was glorious--yowza, are we ever getting aggressive on the kill. All the ladies in the VC are getting hot under the collar. Sidney Crosby did an amazing magical trick and became the invisible man, as facilitated by our reunited awesome third line and Carlzner. Here's a picture of a Penguin who actually accomplished shit:
Suck it, Pens, I cannot stand your precious Crosby.
The PP was significantly less glorious to say the least. Nobody takes shots on either of our penalty chances, because that is Mike Green's job and they all keep forgetting that he is injured.
I don't talk much about missing Mike Green because that is like talking about the time when someone reached in your chest and ripped out your heart and you are just kind of staring at it like "can you put that back please". But it hurts. I am chomping at the bit to see what Hunter and Johnson can do with him.
There was no offense to be found in all of the land. The defense looks better! And Vokoun has a good game except for one exceedingly silly-looking goal.
If only some of the millions of dollars of offense in front of them could score.
It will come. It will come soon, but more importantly, it will be sustainable. Which would you rather have, a flash in the pan or a Cup in the trophy case?
Go Dale Hunter.