So tonight the Flyers are beating the Caps by two late in the second period, right, And Philly’s a pretty good team with depth at pretty much every position and they’re not exactly wont to give up leads.
But the Caps had it figured out from the get-go: put your three best players, all three of which play different forward positions, on the same line and see what happens. What happens, of course, is that those three players combine for 4-5-9 and the Caps win 4-2. Nicklas Backstrom had the biggest night, scoring the tying goal and assisting on all three others. Alex Ovechkin ran his goal total to 11 in as many games with his brace tonight. Alex Semin went 1-2-3, and his goal was an absolute snipe.
So it stands to reason, then, that Bruce Boudreau would say this after the game, per Wyshynski’s Twitter: “Who knows where [they]‘ll be on Thursday.” YEAH BRUCE JEEZ WHO KNOWS?
They could end up anywhere, because not including tonight’s nine-point extravaganza, a combination of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin being on the ice at any time together has resulted in 35 points, so counting tonight, that’s 44. This season, every player on Washington put together in any combination has 109. That’s over 40 percent of the team’s TOTAL POINTS being scored by that trio when it is playing together. This despite playing just over 19 percent of all of Washington’s total possible ice time together.
I understand the desire to not put all your eggs in a single basket lest some disease that targets ONLY the players on the ice be released at Verizon Center while The Big Three are out there (with, Heaven forbid, Mike Green as well), because then the Caps’d be scuh-rewed. I also don’t profess to know as much about hockey as Bruce Boudreau. But I know this: if these guys scored that many points together, I wouldn’t care if the basket all my eggs were in was made out of soggy papier-mâché. If the object of a hockey game is to score more goals than the opponent, and there probably isn’t a triumverate in the league that scores them as effectively as these three, how about this: stop hoping Semin can carry Boyd Gordon and Ovie can prop up Chris Clark.
Keep them together and grind out wins with three checking lines. You don’t even need a second line when your first line has 21-26-47 in 11 man-games.
Colorado 3, Edmonton 0
You can choose to look at this game one of two ways: 1) Colorado is legit, or 2) Edmonton very much isn’t. Hint: It’s No. 2.
Detroit 5, Vancouver 4
Oh yes, madam, it’s all turning around in Motor City. A road win! Over a Canucks team that was mediocre even before it was injury-depleted and had no depth. It’s all comin’ together for Mike Babcock and his rag-tag crew of overpaid 38-year-olds.