Every time the Pens play the Caps, it turns into a Big Deal.
A lot of people have had a lot of things to say about the decline and fall of Bruce Boudreau, and even though I'm not a huge fan of the guy, I'm not about to rag on him too much here. I hope he finds success in Anaheim.
I'll pour out some wing sauce for you, Bruce.
But while Boudreau is gone, the Capitals remain. And so do all their obnoxious fans.
We here at PH like to call certain players fat, which is most definitely deserved.
Dustin Byfuglien. Super fat.
Brad Richards. Extra fat.
Chris Osgood. Ridiculously fat.
I'd like to thank the Academy. And fried chicken.
But the Capitals seem to suffer from a fatness that's grown beyond normal proportions.
I would characterize it as a fatness of the soul.
A hyper-obesity of character.
An adipose arrogance that causes them to come tantalizingly close to achieving their goals, but to inevitably fall short at the last moment.
There's a reason why I love watching the Caps lose a game. Or a playoff series, for that matter.
Will the Caps team we see tonight suffer from the same problems we've seen in the past?
Will Ovechkin remain a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, buried beneath a thick layer of fat?
Will Nicklas Backstrom continue his campaign of creeping Swedish evil?
The comparative Crosby/Ovechkin graphic shows really all you need to understand about this matchup tonight. Sid has almost as many points as Ovechkin despite only playing five games of the season.
Fans at the Verizon Center are also apparently taunting Sid with signs. Stay classy, Caps fans.
OMG STAN SAVRAN JUST CALLED BOUDREAU "BARBECUE BRUCE"
Coach Disco doesn't think Ovechkin's in a slump. "He's still dangerous." Dangerous to an appetizer sampler, I'm sure.
Watch, now that I've said that he's going to really turn it on and destroy our collective wills to live while everyone in that building wearing red is going to act like they just won the Cup or something.
Errey is wearing some pretty excellent glasses. He looks like a slightly bewildered professor.
Despres is up from Wilkes-Barre and we'll see how he does. Good for him, playing in his first NHL game and all.
Holy crap, you guys, I actually saw the opening faceoff of the game.
They are seriously booing for Sidney Crosby. I give up, Washington. I was thinking that it was good that you had a team who didn't suck so more people would care about hockey, but you Caps fans can go explode.
We seem to be spending a lot of time in the Caps zone. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying.
OMG CRAIG ADAMS SCORES HIS SECOND GOAL OF THE SEASON 1-0 Pens
In the replay, we can see that Arron Asham set this pass up beautifully. And then he takes on Erskine in a fight at center ice and...acquits himself very well, I think. Now all Asham needs to do is score a goal of his own and he'll get a Gordie Howe hat trick.
Ovechkin is apparently going into Red Hulk Smash Destroy mode and smashes Craig Adams into the boards.
The Caps are looking very confused and disjointed.
They can't get plays set up and they can't get into the Penguins zone with any degree of control over the puck.
I understand that they're trying to adjust to a new system and I get that Mike Green isn't playing, either.
Of course, just as I wrote that, the Caps spent a sphincter-clenching minute and a half throwing everything they could at Fleury.
But when Fleury's in Kill Mode, he will destroy everything. He is a Death Flower and he will end you.
(please stay in kill mode fleury)
The power play is looking...better. I mean, I know that doesn't take much, compared to last year, but it's improving.
Back and forth, back and forth. Both teams get some really good chances but no one can put it in the net.
FIRST PERIOD AWARDS
Best Helper goes to my dog Barney, who is assisting with this recap by putting his face on my keyboard because he's mad that I'm not petting him.
I can't resist that face
Slowest U-Turn goes to the entire Capitals team. You guys have four shots on goal? I mean, come on, really?
The recap of this period will be slightly marred by my getting to enjoy some delicious homemade pizza for dinner, but also having to eat it very carefully, because I just got a new crown put on my tooth.
And while I was writing that explanation, Jason Chimera backhands it into the net. 1-1
I'm really not surprised that the Caps are playing in the way that they are. I'm sure it's tough to adjust to a new coach and a new way of doing things, and this is only Hunter's second game as head coach.
Steiggy and Errey take a Moment to share their love of Simon Despres. I get the feeling that he could Crash Their Nets any Friday.
Ovechkin's fatness gets him into trouble as he gets penalized for goalie interference. However, nothing happens aside from the fans grumbling.
Steiggy chimes in with the Fun Fact that TK has never scored against the Caps. I totally believe it.
Does the Verizon Center seriously have folding chairs in their penalty boxes? How low-rent is that?
I think I might have found something lamer than the Pens power play, and that's the Capitals power play.
The second period ends with the Pens having 52 seconds of power play left, but without any more scoring.
SECOND PERIOD AWARDS
There are none. Save for the brave souls who decide they actually want to go to PirateFest.
The third period commences with the remainder of the power play, but nothing happens until Chris Kunitz catches a great pass from TK, of all people, and made it look super easy. 2-1 Pens
Also, Simon Despres got an assist on the goal, which is his first point in the NHL. Good for him!
The Caps respond to this turn of events by getting angry and frustrated. Not their best look, I must say. It results in shoving and rage.
No shots for the Capitals yet in the third period, and there's only 11 minutes left in the game. I mean, I don't want them to have any more shots, but it's kind of ridiculous.
Wow, Semin managed to get the puck right into the crease, and Fleury was even down on the other side, but he didn't shoot at all. There's gotta be something going on with this Caps team that none of us can see or understand. Because if it's a Penguins player in that situation, we're scoring a goal.
Kunitz demonstrates why he is a Superior Human by checking a Caps player, hard, into the boards and simultaneously passing the puck to Sid for a good scoring chance. It doesn't result in anything, but it doesn't suck.
The Caps are playing with "a shortage of confidence," which is painfully obvious to everyone who isn't wearing red.
They look lost and sad. Like someone stole their puppy.
I'm not trying to shortchange the Penguins here, either. They're playing very well. It just...doesn't seem fair, in some ways.
With the final shots 35 to 17, the Penguins win 2-1.
THIRD PERIOD AWARDS
Freshest Face goes to Simon Despres. I hope he continues to kick ass and take names.
Number One Star goes to Paul Martin. That is an award notable enough to be awarded here as well.
Up next: Carolina and the Staal Brothers Drinking Game on Saturday. Be there or be lame.