Five Things We Learned in the Capitals 5-4 Win Over the Panthers.

Yesterday the Capitals played their first game in 19 days. It’s been long awaited for the return of the Capitals. We all had questions going into the game. 

  • Will Ovechkin play well after the Olympics?
  • Is Backstrom going to strut around in sadness?
  • Can this team play some defense?

During the game we found five interesting points that we wanted to expound on.

1.) No matter what happens, Ovechkin is best.))) 



The Olympics were tough for Alexander Ovechkin. He was pretty much the face of the Olympics. In fact his face was plastered everywhere from Menus, to vending machines, to murals painted of him. There was no doubting that the home country was expecting gold in ice hockey. But like Vancouver the Russian team failed yet again to even medal. There was no denying Alexander was devastated in letting his country down. But, just a few hours after the lost to Finland Ovechkin got some terrible news. His dad, Mikhail Ovechkin, was rushed to the hospital after suffering from a heart attack. Ovechkin’s life was literally falling apart all around him. When Ovechkin returned to Washington he told the media his dad was doing a lot better and recovering from the surgery. After all that, it was time for the analysts to wonder if Ovechkin would perform the way he did before the break. Ovechkin tallied his first point, an assist, 12 minuets into the game. After that Ovechkin would find himself tallying another helper this time on the PP in the second. But the best has yet to come. With the game tied 4-4 with only 3:53 left to play Ovechkin tallied the biggest point of the game, the game winning goal. Ovechkin ultimately ended the night as the first star with three points. Ovechkin is best.
2.) Backstrom is best no matter what)))

The Olympics weren’t just terrible for Alexander Ovechkin. In fact his best friend Backstrom also ended his trip to Sochi in disappointment.  Just before the gold medal game the Swedish national team was informed that Nicklas Backstrom was not allowed to play due to failing a doping test. Backstrom and the rest of the Swedish team were absolutely derailed with the news. Nicklas was tested on Wednesday for doping. The reason he failed was because he took 190g of Zyrtec D, which the doctor prescribed, when you’re only allowed 150g. Backstrom was also not allowed to obtain his silver medal until further tests, which will take about two weeks. Backstrom came back to Washington met with massive amounts of media.

And just like Ovechkin people wondered if Backstrom was going to be able to ignore the doping allegations, and play hockey. And just like Ovechkin, Backstrom answered. He recorded two assists and one goal, just like Ovechkin. We love Nicky.

3.) Our defense is still bad.

Well there’s absoutely no way to deny this fact. Our defense is playing out of their minds bad. It’s so sad to see such skilled players play so poorly. Mike Green was a -1, all the other D-men were 0 +/–. But the real way to know if they played poorly last night is the score. The Capitals allowed four goals against one of the worst scoring teams in the league, THE FLORIDA PANTHERS. During the third after we blew the 4-2 lead I was certain this game was going to be an OT winner for the Panthers. Some people (most people…) will blame Braden Holtby, but I don’t recall one goal that was his fault. In fact Holtby bailed his team out a lot. The Capitals allow opposing skaters to get in front of Holtby and screen him. The Capitals have done a very poor job this year throwing the body around near the goal crease. That needs to change. 

4.) Brouwer Pouwer is back!

Troy Brouwer adds secondary scoring. But this season his lack of play and production has been sad to watch. One of the more skilled players in the league Troy Brouwer has had a slow season to say the least. But in the last five game Brouwer Pouwer has emerged. Troy Brouwer has recorded a total of six points. He has also had two, including last night, multi point games. If Brouwer can continue to produce in the 2nd line it might give Washington the secondary, no pun intended, scoring they need. 

5.) This team MUST play better. 

In baseball it’s called the pennant race, in hockey it’s called “PLEASE WIN”. The playoff stretch is upon us. With Philadelphia losing against the Sharks last night, the Capitals are just one point out of a playoff position. You all have heard it in the past couple of days, the Capitals have the toughest schedule yet, and it’s true. The Capitals will take on the Penguins twice, the Bruins three times, and a handful of west coast teams. If the Capitals want to have any chance of making the playoffs, they must play better. It all starts with defense. The best teams play the best defense. Championships are won with defense, after that its secondary scoring. Ovechkin cannot do it all. Hopefully Troy Brouwer’s brilliant play continues. But there must be more scoring, on all lines. If the Capitals can do those things I bet we’ll see some playoff hockey in Washington.

Enjoy this photo, which is absolutely priceless.




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