Apologies for the radio silence, Capsland. I came down with the death flu and also as you may have seen, RMNB was silly and suicidal enough to invite me on board. Rest assured I will still be writing here, because they are professional hockey media types and such and I shouldn't say "fuck" on their blog and ruin their reputation.
That game was a train wreck, but since it worked out for the Caps and we won the game, I have zero complaints. 3-0 again in Montreal, deja vu shutout. The Habs probably hate us so fucking much by now but I have no sympathy whatsoever. They will never be forgiven. They know what they did.
The first period was so godawful on both sides that really the only way a goal was going to be scored was going to be a stupid, ridiculous freak kind of goal. Luckily, this happened in the Caps favor instead of against them.
Dennis Wideman took a totally harmless shot and it fluttered over Budaj's shoulder and then seemed to change direction midair. It is in your interest to watch this replay. You will laugh yourself sick.
Dennis Wideman never told us that he had the power to control the puck with his mind. I know he has to keep this under wraps so that the normal humans don't come for him, but I wouldn't be opposed to him using this secret ability again in the future. 1-0 Caps.
The Habs like to think that they're a pretty team--don't argue with them, they don't have very much right now, but when the Caps play them they tend to get jealous, and Caps faces are always in danger. Tonight, it was Dmitri Orlov taking a puck from Max Pacioretty right to the face. His nose was definitely broken--you know a hockey nose when you see one. Despite this, he barely missed a shift, and was on the ice regularly for the rest of the game. There's something to be said here about Russian machines and their overall durability.
We got a late power play, but if you have been watching the Capitals lately, you know that this is not necessarily a good thing. The Caps spent more of their power play time chasing down the puck in neutral zone than anything else. You could have been forgiven for thinking that they had never seen this small black vulcanized rubber thing before in their lives. Oh, boys.
Fortunately, this was one of those games where no matter how bad the Caps were, the Habs managed to be worse. They came to play hockey today in order to show us how much worse things could be, in fact, and to tell the fanbase to quit bitching all the time. We were very grateful.
Troy Brouwer was awake tonight. This should surprise no one, since he has gradually started to show us what a goddamn steal he really was. One pick for a guy that can score, pass, crash, and make the ladies swoon while he's at it? Don't mind if we do. He had a good chance in front of the net that was thwarted by Peter Budaj losing his grip on his stick and basically throwing it at him. It was a penalty shot.
No matter how glorious Troy Brouwer has been lately, though, he is not really a penalty shot kind of guy. Maybe if he could have stood in front of Budaj and screened him while taking the shot at the same time, this might have worked. No goal. Penalty shots still thrilling, news at eleven.
Another power play. It looks a bit better with Ovechkin back, and Keith Aucoin didn't fuck up at things, but mostly it was just a bunch of useless flailing and people making one, or two, or three extra passes. Goodness gracious.
But oh, the Caps think they have a bad power play? OH HO HO. The Canadiens will show you what a bad power play looks like. They went after that shit like it was a competition.
It was pretty bad. I think they won.
There's a LOT of scrambling and potential danger at the end of the second period, though, that Pacioretty-Desharnis-Cole line is destroying lives trying to make something happen. Vokoun doesn't bat an eye. He knows the deal with Caps games now. He knows how this goes. He played goal for the Florida Panthers for four years, for God's sake, like he's never seen this shit before.
It's a good time for an intermission though. Intense glaring from Dale Hunter all around. He's got a new tie tonight. He means business.
For the first part of the third period, it's back to the crazy free-wheelin' fun-times bad hockey on both sides at first, with the Habs getting a few more chances but nothing that would actually, you know...have even been a slight danger to go in the net. Vokoun is not concerned.
The grinders are showing up lately in a big way. There are all these joke lines that you can't believe were put together and seem like really terrible ideas, but then those are the lines that keep producing. Hard work > a lot of things, there, you have learned a lesson about life today.
Brooks Laich tries to stuff it in--the puck bounces out right onto Hendricks' stick in front of basically an empty net. It's his second in a week. Soft Hands Hendricks.
For awhile it's back to nonsense hockey. Then Tomas Kaberle hooks Alex Semin on a breakaway and can it be? Two penalty shots in one game? You are getting your money's worth tonight.
I love Troy Brouwer, but facing down Alex Semin on a penalty shot is not the same thing as facing down Troy Brouwer. He skates right down into Budaj and slaps it, and it's one of those Sasha comets that no one will be able to stop, ever.
Twitter explodes. 3-0.
The only one not panicking in the last few minutes of the game is Tomas Vokoun. He's in his zen place, nothing is getting through tonight.
Win. Shutout win.
If you win three shutouts back to back in Montreal, don't you get to take something home with you? The stadium? Some poutine? A Hab? I refuse to believe there's not some kind of prize for this. Someone check on this for me.
The Caps have come away with 6 of the available 12 points in the last six road games. They're 5-3-2 in their last 10. Slowly but surely, things are starting to be okay again. Please don't go looking for a flash-bang fireworks turnaround. That is not this Caps squad, this season. But they will fight and inch their way towards where they need to be.
Quality of competition doesn't matter any more. Points are the most important thing in the world. We're fighting for every win right now, we're not wasting time thinking about anything else. It's probably be like this until the playoffs, so settle in.
I love this team.
Let's go Caps.