Hockey Mom is back from the Burgh (congrats to the Steelers fans who were all over the city in their black and gold) and man, was it COLD! One of the games the boys' team played took place on Saturday (when it was -15) in a rink built circa 1925, meaning no semblance of heat whatsoever!!
The team lost 2 and won 1 - the last one almost turning into a free for all as a result of poor officiating. But more importantly, they played hard and a good time was had by all! And a huge HM high five to the Caps for defeating the conference-leading Bruins in my absence. We looked all over Pittsburgh for a place to watch the game Saturday night but couldn't find one (imagine that - Pens town not televising a Caps game)!
I was having a discussion with some of the dads about the fact that Sidney Crosby is all over the Pittsburgh media - one of the leading news stories was about Sid conducting a clinic for underprivileged kids (which appeared on ALL the news channels). We were talking about the fact that our own Alex Ovechkin does the same kind of community work (especially with kids) and rarely gets that kind of coverage (with the exception of Comcast SportsNet). The print media is starting to catch on (now that the Skins are long done), but whether you like hockey or not, when is the mainstream media going to recognize that we have the NHL's version of Michael Jordan right here in our own backyard? Ya gotta wonder....
So on a historic day before another historic day tomorrow, the Capitals are visiting Nassau Coliseum to take on an injury-plagued New York Islanders club. Islanders' poster boy goaltender Rick DiPietro is still injured and Yann Danis is minding the crease. Boyd Gordon (who was suffering from back spasms - ouch) and captain Chris Clark were back in action for the Caps. And the other half of cutie-pie celebrity couple "Duffrie" (Hilary Duff/Mike Comrie) Mike Comrie was dressed for the Isles.
The Capitals seemed to be a bit lackadaisical in this match up, with the exception of the lone goal in the first 2 periods, courtesy of Alex the Great. The defense had way too many giveaways and despite leading in shots on goal, the Caps were not successful in taking advantage of scoring opportunities.
Late in the third period, OV took a delay of game penalty after sailing a puck over the glass and the Isles tied it up at 1-1 with a power play goal from youngster Kyle Okposo. And in a game that should have been a cakewalk for the Caps, this one goes into overtime.
Former Cap and current mullet-wearer Brendan Witt took an OT penalty for slashing Ovie and the boys went on the power play. And the lean, mean Russian machine struck again with a beautiful sequence from Sergei Fedorov to Alex Semin to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.
So while it wasn't pretty - a win is a win. It's hockey 101 to say that the boys have to play their game 100% every team, every time if we expect to go deep into the playoffs.
I also wanted to give a Hockey Mom shout out to the dashing Alexandre Giroux of the Caps' affiliate Hershey Bears for breaking the infamous Brett Hull's American Hockey League scoring record. Giroux netted his fifteenth consecutive goal on Sunday and has scored 22 goals over the streak, which began on Nov. 26, 2008. He broke the record Hull set with the Moncton Golden Flames during the 1986-87 season. Hull scored in 14 straight games en route to a 50-goal season for which he won the Dudley (Red) Garrett Award as the AHL's outstanding rookie.
To round out my Martin Luther King Day, HM just flipped the channel to the NHL Network and who should be featured on Captains but the Caps' own Chris Clark?
Next up for the Capitals, the Ottawa Senators in the Canadian capital on Inauguration Day for all of us in the U.S....til the puck drops tomorrow at 7:30!