Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Season Has Begun; Caps Win Preseason Opener 4-3 (SO)

The Caps traveled to Stirling-Rawdon in Ontario, Canada to take on Winnipeg (them again?) in the Kraft Hockeyville game. Both teams got off to a slow start, with the first period going by scoreless. In the second period, the Jets jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but goals from Jack Hillen and Stanislav Galiev (yes, that guy, the 'disappointment') tied the game going into the third. Both teams scored a goal in the third (the Caps via Troy Brouwer), and the game went into OT.

OT went by scoreless, so we went into the shootout, where the deadlock continued. Neither team scored in the first three rounds, then Phillip Grubauer made a save in the top of the 4th round to give the opportunity to win the game to Mike Green. After 7 talented forward were unable to score, it was the as-talented defenseman Mike Green who finished the game with a beautiful shot upstairs off the crossbar and in.

So the Caps win 4-3 in the shootout. A good start, technically, but it was not that great a game from the good guys. I personally found the effort throughout the game a bit underwhelming. Albeit the Caps were playing with mostly prospects, but I would have expected a tad better performance in the preseason opener.

Other notes...

  • Yes, that was Alex Ovechkin taking a stick under the visor, falling to the ground in pain, making his bleeding way to the locker room to get patched up, then coming back a few minutes later. Russian Machine Never Breaks.
  • The prospects showed some good skills, especially on the second goal, where defenseman Nate Schidt made a nice play to pass it to Stan Galiev, who redirected it into the net. The Caps have a good future, folks, with or without Filip Forsberg.
  • Phillip Grubauer was arguably better than Braden Holtby in the game. Although Holts is undoubtedly the starter for the Caps, Grubauer's great performance could lead to either him or Michal Neuvirth  getting traded for a good value.
  • How about those Jets? They are drastically underrated, expected to be last place in a strong Central Division, but only the old Southeast Division rivals know just how strong this team is. Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler are both extremely talented, and the team has a lot of potential. Good luck, Central Division, and welcome to our old nightmare.
So what do you think? Did the Caps live up to expectations? Fall short? Surpass? Tell me in the comments. 

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