By Stu Krantz
This week is near the end of the quarter. I’ve had around 5-6 hours of homework every night. You wouldn’t stay up until midnight watching the Caps get called for a bunch of penalties in Edmonton either.
Game 8: 2-1 loss in Edmonton: The upstart Oilers handed the Caps their first loss last Thursday. Youngsters Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall had the goals for the Oilers, while Karl Alzner potted the only goal for Washington. Recently-incarcerated Nikolai Khabibulin had 34 saves and a .971 SV%. The refs refused to put away their whistles for the first 2 periods, calling the Caps for a whopping 9 minor penalties through the first 40 minutes of play. 3 Stars: 1. Khabibulin 2. Jordan Eberle 3. Stephane Auger and Dan O’Halloran (those who donned the zebra stripes, for the uninitated)
Game 9: 7-4 loss in Vancouver: Tomas Vokoun started things off badly by going out to play the puck, but actually taking a Max Lapierre shot off his skates and into the net. The Canucks went up 3-1, but goals from Mike Knuble, Alex Ovechkin, and Marcus Johansson for the Caps and Alex Edler (again) for the Canucks made it 4-4. Soon after, Ovie took a penalty and the Canucks never looked back, beating the Caps in the end by a score of 7-4. 3 Stars: 1. Alex Edler (2G, 1A) 2. Max Lapierre (2G, 1 being awesome) 3. Chris Higgins (2G)
Game 10: 5-4 OT Win vs. Anaheim: Lots of controversy here, as Alex Ovechkin was not put on the ice by Bruce Boudreau during the final two minutes of play when the Caps were trying to tie it up (which Nick Backstrom eventually did). More on this later. How did we get to this point, you inquire? Saku Koivu (blessed be his soul) scored 9 minutes into the 1st. Teemu Selanne, aka cue little girl voice the greatest hockey player to play ever who should not ever retire for all time, potted 2 goals to make it 3-0. Ward, Wideman and 2011 Hart Trophy winner and Anaheim Duck Corey Perry (on the PP) scored to make it 4-2. However, as we all know, the Caps love digging themselves holes only to climb out of it. Which they did, to great fanfare. A Troy Brouwer shot deflected off Jonas Hiller’s glove to make it 4-3. Backstrom tied it up with 40 seconds remaining in the game, then won it for the Caps in OT to stop Washington’s slide at 2 games. 3 Stars: 1. Nick Backstrom 2. Teemu Selanne 3. Saku Koivu (hey, if he does anything significant, I am morally obligated to give him a star).