Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Caps 4 - Blue Jackets 3 (F OT)

Well, as anticipated, last night's hockey game in Columbus was a tough one and a nail biter. They say in big games, big players - play big. That was the case tonight for Alexander Ovechkin, Rick Nash, Tom Poti and to a lesser degree Alexander Semin, Victor Kozlov, Dave Steckel, Mike Green, Ron Hainsey, Adam Foote, Jason Chimera, and Nickolai Zherdev all came with their "A games on." Since I was channel flipping between the game and the election coverage on CNN and had a late telcon for work that caused me to miss the first 7:45 of the first period, I may have missed a few things but to me the highlights were:

- Tom Poti's play particularly his two saves/blocked shots, his hit and of course his first goal of the season that tied it up at 3-3 at 13:07 of the third period. Without Poti in the game it could easily have been a 5-2 loss at the end of regulation.

- Alexander, the great, Ovechkin's goals, both of them, but particularly the first where e scored on a 1 on 4 breakaway. Ovie, along with Dave Steckel also led the team in hits with three (3)

- Alexander Semin's goal, a classic example of "great hands". Also Semin's play all night, as he played smart, hustled every shift, and he worked to be in the low slot and in great scoring positions, even when guys like Foote were working to get him out of the slot. Semin also went the night without taking any penalties, let alone "bad" penalties.

- Seeing that the shuffle in lines one and two will work, a highlight was Eric Fehr's play. Fehr was ever present around the goal and pressing for the puck, forcing the Blue Jackets to give some more room to both Backstrom and Ovechkin. Fehr had 2 shots, 2 attempts blocked, 2 missed shots, and 1 blocked shot in 20 shifts and 16:46 of ice time. Altogether he had a good first NHL game of the season and played smart hockey.

- Even though it's hard to say this Rick Nash's first goal a "shortie" during a Caps 2 man advantage was a beutiful goal and a highlight. His second goal where the referee Bill McCreary took Shoanne Morrison out of the play, giving Nash another 1-0 breakaway was not as pretty all things considered.

- Finally, the biggest highlight, "a two point night" as the Caps travel to Philadelphia to face the Flyers at Wachovia Center tonight.


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