Friday, November 9, 2007

Raise your hand if you saw THAT coming

Now allow me to call all of you with your hands raised liars. What an impressive 4-1 victory over the artists formerly known as the hottest team in the league. The Caps put together one of their better overall games of the year and, thanks to the brilliant goaltending of Olie Kolzig, dominated the Senators for all three periods. The Senators faithful sounded much more like a crowd of 8,000 than a packed house of over 18,000.

It looked to be all doom and gloom for the Caps in the second with the score knotted at 0 when Jeff Shultz and Tom Poti were whistled for minor infractions within a minute of one another. On the ensuing penalty kill, Dave Steckel broke his stick, and Caps fans everywhere waited for the hammer to fall... and waited... and waited... and nothing happened. Olie Kolzig played like a man possessed, the defense held, and the Caps were able to get a stoppage of play. Glen Hanlon wisely spent a timeout to rest his weary penalty killers, who responded by snuffing out the rest of the Ottawa penalty. If the Caps are able to reel off a few wins and get themselves out of the cellar, that penalty kill will be pointed to as the turning point in this young season.

A little more than halfway through the second, someone finally let Viktor Kozlov know the season had started, and he responded with an impressive effort, scoring once on a great individual effort and setting up two more Caps tallies on his way to being named the number one star of the night. Also notable was Nicklas Backstrom potting is first NHL goal, and the Russian Machine sealing the victory with a pretty delayed snapper late in the third.

The Caps need to carry all the momentum they can muster into Saturday's tilt against Tampa, where the Caps look to break out from the bottom of the standings and start the rise to the middle of the pack. Tampa has yet to win on the road, and the Caps will have had a couple days to soak in the glory of this victory and rest up for the game. All signs point towards a hard fought Caps victory, as long as someone can keep Kozlov awake during the game.


DMG said...

Kolzig was good on the 5-on-3 but how great was Steckel even after his stick broke?

Roger Padre said...

I must admit that I did not watch the game. When I went out to dinner as the 2nd period started, I had an out of body (and mind) feeling that the Caps were going to win. I figured if they had survived scoreless into the 2nd period, anything could happen....and it did.