So far this weekend apparently the biggest news in the world is that there was an accident in Central Florida where the driver wrecked his SUV in Florida in an accident that did not involve any other vehicles but took place late at night but the Police Report says Alcohol was not involved, however no one is really sure why the car crash occurred or why the driver was going out at 2:30 in the morning, oh yeah and the driver of the vehicle was Tiger Woods. I mention it in case your local news didn't cover it and you didn't listen to CNN or any other news channels at all any time in the last 48 hours. My view is get a grip people, this isn't news, and who cares why he was going out at 2:30 AM - perhaps as the father of two young children he needed to take a run to the 24 hour Toys - R - Us or 7-11 for more disposable diapers or some such thing, or for whatever reason he wanted to go out for some air, who cares? I mean I turn on the TV to get some news and what do I get? News of the latest act of piracy off Somalia? News of anything to do with the numerous ongoing conflicts, droughts, famine or strife in the world? Scores of the more notable sports rivalries being contested this weekend? No, we get numerous reports that say the same non-news relative to Tiger wrecking his SUV. Give the guy and his family some privacy already, and use the bandwidth to pass on real news. Of course why focus on hard news like how many vessel crews are being held hostage in Somalia, or how many of our nations military are being shot at, or what the root causes and data are behind the continued world economic sluggishness, if you are CNN, when you can talk about a minor traffic accident involving a big celebrity? Rant over back to my other musings.
Well the Caps are once again atop the NHL's Eastern Conference after last night's Shoot Out win over the Montreal Canadiens, by virtue of their 36 points and game in hand on the Pittsburgh "Flightless Birds." In fact the Caps have the second most points in the NHL (36) just two fewer points than the San Jose Sharks who currently lead the league with 38. Using simple extrapolation the Capitals are on track for 112 points this season. Further Caps Star Alexander Ovechkin is on track to score 56 goals and 95+ points again this season. All is right with the world, except of course the large number of Caps who are "dinged up" right now, the lingering "Michael Nylander" situation, the continued issues with "closing out a win" and staying out of the penalty box in the third period. However all that doesn't really matter ... as several Caps including Eric Fehr, Alexander Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom and Semyon Varlamov made up their minds they were going to do whatever it took to come home from Montreal with Two Points.
The post game quote of the night has to be Nicklas Backstrom's comment: "The NHL is not easy." You gotta love the simplicity and accuracy of that statement.
Semyon Varlamov's SV% last night 21 of 24 for 0.875 wasn't close to his best statistical performance of the season, but with the Caps down 3-2 in the third he came up big several times as Montreal tried valiantly to put the game away, and on the shootout he showed his skill, athleticism and flexibility on all three Canadien attempts. The fact he did it in front of Russia's Olympic Coach, former CCCP goaltender great Vladislav Tretiak, couldn't have hurt the 21 year old rookie's chances of making the Russian Olympic team and going to Vancouver in February. Oh and Varlamov finished the night with the following interesting statistic - his regular season record is now 10-1-2, though he may be ready for a one game rest when they face the Carolina Hurricanes at RBC Center in Raleigh tomorrow night as he has now played the last four games in a row though he will have a day's rest today and the Caps have Tuesday and Wednesday off this week as well.
Eric Fehr on his game, in the paint, is money, plain and simple - 'nuff said. With Fehr in that role and performing, when you add Chris Clark, Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble, as well as occassionally Nicklas Backstrom, Brendan Morrison, Alexander Ovechkin and Tomas Fleischmann driving the net this year's edition of the Capitals is something akin to "Lions Storming The Gate" compared to recent season's past. And it all shows as of this morning the Caps have 7 players: Ovechkin, Semin, Laich, B-Mo, Flash, Fehr and Knuble on pace for 20 goal seasons. To date, twenty different guys wearing Capital sweaters have scored NHL goals this season and for much of the past two months we here in the blogsphere haven't felt the need to discuss a need for more "secondary scoring." This is a maturing, if not mature team clearly poised to take a run deep into the playoffs as long as they don't get "too cute."
Sure there's plenty to continue to worry about relative to the Caps but keeping things in perspective after last night's victory against the Canadiens the Caps again awoke to find themselves atop the Eastern Conference. Now as the San Jose Sharks have shown us all in recent past seasons, winning your conference in the regular season doesn't guarantee or portend much of anything with regard to playoff success but finding whatever you need to within yourselves to still win when maybe you shouldn't - that's something else...
Next up SE Division Rivals Carolina in Raleigh tomorrow night ...
LETS GO CAPS!!!!