I'm not a Caps fan, but today I needed them to win. The Pens* rolled into the big phone booth (the Verizon Center) looking for 2 points. Unfortunately the NHL scoring system is also bullshit, with some 2pt games and some 3pt games with overtime. Tonight was a 3ptr, decided by an artificial gimmick illustrating individuals instead of the team. For once, I actually did enjoy the shootout, with shooters like OV, Semin, Crysby, and Letang showing off what they could do IF they got a penalty shot during the actual game. Fun, yes, but not something that should decide the game - just like the NFL changed it's "coin-flip to win the game rule". With as much talent as these two teams have, it makes you wonder how much truth there is in Boudreau's self-proclamation of coaching ability.
Anyway, unless your team was playing tonight, you should have been watching this game. Featured on ice, a potential ECF matchup. Granted, listening to Craig Laughlin's color commentary is marginally more tolerable than sticking a drill in your ear, but if you can filter him out (you probably are deaf - in which case turn off CC) you're in for a real treat. The Pens* ran an overload to one side to get defenders moving that direction, and kick out to the single player opposite the overload. PP was a 4-man net crashing system. The Caps used their typical defenseman pinching offensive system (probably because Mike Green sucks at defense, but is solid at scoring). PK later in the game challenged the Pens* high defenseman, which let directly to a freakin' sweet Semin shorthanded goal. The standard operating procedure of the NHL officiating was in full effect again, making the Pens* seem like they could do no wrong, though nothing too obnoxious was let go (5 Caps penalties, 1 Pens*).
One nice tidbit from the TV feed, Peter Bondra (former Cap, not that many "fans" know these days, now GMs the Slovakia olympic hockey team) hires Glen Hanlon for four years leading up to the Sochi Winter Olympics. Hanlon is the guy the Caps fired one year too soon (hiring Boudreau), after making him suffer through those 'draft collecting' years. I guess everyone needs a fall guy.
We'll close off with a quiz question:
What might Gretzky, Orr, and Ovechkin have in common after this season is completely all said and done?
Three consecutive MVP trophies!