Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blue Christmas for St. Louis?

The St. Louis Blues are in town to take on the rockin' red Capitals at the Phone Booth. The Blues have been bitten hard by the injury bug - something the Caps are all too familiar with - and the team just announced today that their captain Eric Brewer will be out indefinitely due to back surgery.

The Blues will have a big man in net in the form of goalie Ben Bishop, who stands tall at 6'7" (the same height as our man "Stretch" Brett Leonhardt)!
Simeon Varlamov will mind the Caps' goal with his proud papa watching in the stands.

In other BIG hockey news, Mats Sundin has finally gotten off his duff to make a decision to either play or retire and will join my other favorite twins (AKA Daniel and Henrik Sedin) as the newest member of the Vancouver Canucks. Sundin had his options narrowed down to the Canucks and the Rangers and in the end, signed a one-year, pro-rated contract for $10 million.

Hockey Mom is fighting off a bug and I'm hoping to make it through tonight's game in its entirety. Hockey moms don't get sick days and besides having the holidays around the corner, we have the Pee Wee version of the "Winter Classic" this weekend. Our guys are playing at an uncovered outdoor rink, which should be very cool (literally). Right now the forecast for Sunday is calling for a rain/snow mix, so I am pounding the Cold-Eez in anticipation of the busy weekend and cold weather.

This weekend will also see the Caps pay a holiday visit to a hostile Wachovia Center as they meet last year's playoff foes, the Philadelphia Flyers. I can assure you that there is no love lost between these two teams and they probably won't be wishing each other "Season's Greetings" if you see any on-ice chatter between them. The Flyers' Jeff Carter stands at second in the entire NHL in goal-scoring, so the Caps can expect to meet a tough crowd. Of course, Philly always makes for a tough crowd, right?

So the Caps took the early lead with a goal from Viktor Kozlov (his first of two on the night). Late into the third period, Varlamov had only allowed one goal on his net. Meanwhile the Caps saw more scoring from Kozlov, Fleischmann and Ovie to take a 3-point lead at 4 - 1. With 8:25 left in the third, a Blues pass took an unlucky bounce off of Ovie's stick to cut the Caps' lead to 2. This game got ugly after Alex Semin got completely roughed up (and the refs totally blew off a roughing call that even my Hockey Grandma could have seen). Ovie took matters into his own hands as he saw his pal in a heap on the ice, then the Caps sent out the big guns in the form of Donald Brashear. Jeez, I hope Semin is okay - we just got him healthy for crying out loud!

Event though this wasn't the prettiest of victories, the Caps pulled off a 4 -2 win and looks like St. Louis will indeed have a blue holiday with yet another loss and a bench full of injuries. Simeon Varlamov had another impressive game; I'm sure his dad is thrilled to pieces!

Let's all keep our collective fingers crossed that Semin doesn't go back on the injured list. See you all Saturday when the men in red take on the Flyers...

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