Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What a Game, What a Game, What a Glorious Game!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Deuce:

1st Period, 17 seconds remaining.

Evgeni Malkin, who had already scored one goal by lowering his shoulder (and head) and barreling over Jeff Schultz, was skating behind the net with the puck. Using his tremendous size and reach, he once again lowered his head and was determined to skate the puck right into the Caps' net. I thought to myself, "here we go again."

Nobody could seem to contain Malkin physically. Suddenly, out of the corner of my TV screen, I saw a white streak. I think it was wearing number 8. This was going to be ugly. At the last second, Malkin appeared to see The Russing Maching and just pulled up. The Machine struck a glancing blow at full speed, causing him to lose his balance and go flying into the boards. Ouch.

I smiled . . . once I saw The Maching get up ("Russian Machine doesn't break.") Those of us that know The Machine know that there are three things that fire him up like nothing else: 1) A duel with a fellow Russian Superstar for supremacy and the title "Best Russian Player;" 2) A big hit, regardless of whether he's giving or getting; and 3) getting booed. Now all three were in place.

Sure enough, the Russian Machine smiled with his bloody lip, and set about putting forth one of his best efforts of the year. He was everywhere, shooting, hitting, talking. He could not be denied. Especially not with your 2008 Calder Trophy winner Nicklas Backstrom sending RE-DI-CU-LOUS passes his way every shift. Young Backstrom is a joy to behold ever since BB took over behind the bench, much like Mike Green, who shockingly failed to tally in the contest.

But this night was all Ovechkin's, as he simply refused to be bested by Geno "Elbows" McMalkin. What a fun game to watch. Offense, hitting, beautiful passes, back-and-forth scoring. Both teams wanted this one bad. But for once, the Caps came out on top. The Caps are now 3 points out of the SE lead,with three games in hand. They are playing with flair and confidence, and not even the Evil Penguins could stop them this time. This season just got a whole lot more exciting. Thanks, Evgeni.

Other Notes: Olie looked bad -- again. He's got to pull his head out of you-know-where, or he's going to find himself sitting on the bench more and more often as the race gets tighter. I love Olie, but that first goal simply cannot go in. And it set the tone for the game. 10 saves and a .667 save percentage -- come on Olie.

Who lit the fire under Kozlov's ass? Finally, some scoring (and emotion) out of him. Let's hope he's heating up just at the right time...(one can dream).

Jeff Schultz looked like a 21 year-old kid out there. Again. Especially when he was outmuscled repeatedly by Malkin.

8 assists in 2 games. Backstrom is simply magical out there. Michael Who?


g-l-k said...

Care to see how Russians report Ovechkin's contract extension in TV news? Take a look (the video's in English!)
This isn't spam. I really want to share this with Capitals fans!
Cheers from Moscow!

CapsChick said...

It's funny, I was watching the game with my sister last night and we were talking about the same thing - how Ovie was going to break out after that. You could just feel it. Tremendous duel between him and Malkin, wasn't it? Amazing.

Agree with everything you said here - the fire under Kozzy's ass, Backstrom's magic, Olie's...lack of magic, Schultz's inability to hit (although I think he actually did hit someone and I fainted with shock!). Great win by the Caps!