The Penguins/Capitals matchups are typically a pretty big deal.
The game’s two best players, Sid Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, head to head. The NHL should be all over games like this. It should be drop-everything material for Versus.
But this game wasn’t. It was on something like Center Ice 8. To be fair, though, this game deserved that little.
Sure, Washington roared back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 and it was a pretty exciting game, but the Sid/Ovie storyline didn’t exactly pan out.
Sid was, well, he was okay. I mean, okay for Crosby. Picked up two assists and you can’t take that away from him, but he didn’t really blow your mind with anything, and one of his assists was a faceoff win. Again, perfectly alright game, but he didn’t seem especially fired up for it.
Neither did Ovechkin, or at least I think he didn’t. It was kind of hard to tell because I barely noticed him all night. He often seemed more concerned with getting in Geno Malkin’s face than doing what he typically does, which is score goals by the boatload and pick up assists on tap-ins he feeds to Washington’s numerous no-namers. He was absolutely invisible for most of the night.
His team picked up the win and I’m sure that’s all that really matters, but the last two games it’s been like Ovie hasn’t shown up at all. I watch Caps games when they don’t conflict with slightly better Western Conference matchups and as a result I’ve caught the last two. Barely an Ovechkin sighting in either of them. He has two goals and no assists so far this season, and both his goals came in one game. I’ve seen games where Ovechkin has struggled (rare though they may be), but he just doesn’t seem like himself. There’s none of that real enthuasiasm for the game he’s so typically displayed. Just two goals on 20 shots? Christ, Todd Bertuzzi’s doing better than that. Believe me, I love Ovie, but it could just be he’s fat and happy with that new contract or something, I dunno, but I’ll put it this way, any time Eric Fehr matches Alex Ovechkin’s season point total in one night, something is seriously wrong.
In fact, here is an unabridged list of players who had more goals than Alex Ovechkin BEFORE tonight: Tom Vanek, Marc Savard, Keith Tkachuk, Tomas Holmstrom, Todd Bertuzzi, Jonathan Cheechoo, Fabian Brunnstrom, Alexander Semin, Brandon Dubinsky, Brad Boyes, Aaron Voros, David Booth, Dany Heatley, Antti Miettinen, Simon Gagne, Mike Green, Bryan Little. That’s a lot of guys, 17 to be exact.
Fortunately for the Caps another Alex was there to pick up the slack, as one of the Semin variety scored Washington’s second goal (a quick-release wrister off a draw you could barely see on an HD feed), and set up Michael Nylander’s game-tying goal less than seven minutes later.
(As an aside, two of the three goals Jose Theodore gave up were softer than baby turds. I had nowhere else to put this thought and figured I’d just cram it somewhere random.)
Boyd Gordon played the part of Alex Ovechkin on the game-winner, rifling a shot past Marc-Andre Fleury and clinching the Caps’ third straight victory. But the goal scorers in this game weren’t exactly the big names people paid what I’m sure were high scalpers fees. Malkin had a goal, to be fair, but the other goalscorers were Alex Goligoski, Miro Satan, Tomi Fleischmann, Semin, Nylander and Boyd. Not exactly household names, and I’m sure the chuckleheads in Bristol, Conn. were rewinding the goal highlights going, “WHERE’S CROSBY I DON’T UNDERSTAND” over and over again.
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