I am probably in the minority of Caps fan today, but I felt last night’s game was a great sign from the team – one I have been looking for in the past month or so. I usually tend to be a middle of the road guy, not too high, not too low, but last night’s game was a sigh of relief for me, personally. Signs of life.
Braden Holtby is continuing to heat up, as he has been doing for the past half-dozen games or so. Braden’s play is starting to remind me of his play at the beginning of the season, when he was literally keeping the Caps in games with his flash and brilliance. This is perfect timing.
Alex Ovechkin played an inspired game last night, hustling on defense, scoring and generally being the Alex Ovechkin we know and love. Alex had that famous Ovi snarl on his face last night, one I hope he keeps for two more months. I kinda always felt Ovi was idling a bit, its human nature, and have no doubt snarling Ovi will be set to go in a fotnight.
Dmitry Orlov seemed to respond fairly well to his extremely humbling week, with only a couple of small miscues. Dmitry played a physical game, which will be greatly needed in two weeks. The concerns regarding Orlov miscues have not been alleviated yet, but it’s good to see him respond positively. Tip o’ the cap to Dmitry and Captian Trotz.
Additionally, the team played hard for the entire 60 minutes. Let’s face it, this game meant absolutely nothing to the Caps, with regards to standings, home-ice, etc. The Flyers were in “Game 7” mode last night, as they have been for the past month or so, and the Caps stepped up and brought their game last night. I honestly don’t see the Flyers keeping up that kind of play much longer. Sports are a game of ebb and flow, turning tides and momentum shifts, and I see a natural cooling off for the Flyers shortly.
Items to work on
Claude Giroux got in Backstrom’s head last night, and I’m frankly very surprised Nicky let that happen. Backstrom ended up 1 for 15 from the face-off dot, which is unheard of. But this is a good thing, because I guarantee you Nicky won’t let that happen again. Holtby also showed some signs of being pulled out of his game and rightfully so, as he was repeatedly charged at the net. Again, a good thing, because I also believe the Zen master will never let that happened again.
The Flyers pulled out all the stops last night, as they had to, fighting for the final playoff spot. They shot their playoff bullets if you will, and the Caps responded well.
By Jon Sorensen