For a few minutes in the first period, the Capitals were actually "in" today's game against the Southeast rival Florida Panthers in front of yet another sell-out Verizon Center crowd. Thanks to a quick power play goal courtesy of Alex Semin, the boys looked like they were on the right track from the get-go. Alas, it was all downhill from there as the Panthers went on an offensive rampage, due to defensive breakdowns and another revolving door in and out of the penalty box (7 times) on the part of the Capitals. Caps fans haven't experienced that kind of lackluster loss since the 7-1 fiasco at the hands of Filthadelphia and HM hopes we don't see another one for a long time.
Don't look now, but the N.J. Devils are moving fast and furious towards the top spot in the East as Marty's (Brodeur) back in net and has had shut outs in the 2 games since his return. Time to regroup and get their heads together for Tuesday's contest against Carolina (and to see if this week sees any trade transactions by GM George McPhee before Wednesday's deadline). Chris Pronger, anyone? That GMGM is a sneaky devil - it's always fun to wait and see if he has anything up his sleeve - kinda of like waiting to see what Santa Clause brought...
Of course the other big news was Don Cherry's rant against Alex Ovechkin's unorthodox celebrations and exhuberance on the ice during last night's HNIC. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out here, unbelievable:
Now we hockey fans know that Mr. Cherry speaks his mind and is a proud Canadian (which is wonderful), but who knew he had such a problem with European and Russian players in the league? Sorry Don, HM has to throw the flag down on this one. You are way off-base and way out of line. Yes, Sidney Crosby is a talented player but the kid is plain vanilla (and not even french vanilla, just plain ole vanilla). Ovechkin is a double chocolate-pistachio-cotton candy sundae with whipped cream and oodles of colorful sprinkles on top, whether you like it or not.
And as a hockey mom, I would LOVE for my kids to exhibit the passion and excitement for the game that Alex demonstrates night after night. And not only when he scores either. He is just as exuberant when one of his team mates scores - the ultimate display of team work and sportsmanship! HM listens to Hockey This Morning every morning on the way to work (helps keep me up to date on all the hockey happenings and a great distraction to prevent road rage) and I think HTM's Shawn Lavigne sums up this situation perfectly here.
And being the personality that he is, AO had this response to Cherry's not-so-popular opinion:
"Don Cherry?" Ovechkin said. "What I can say? He's a funny guy, old guy. He likes old-fashioned hockey, so he don't like probably my celebrations. He said a lot of stuff about [Atlanta all-star Ilya] Kovalchuk and me, so he ...I don't know. I don't want to talk about him. He's not interesting to me. He can say whatever he want. I don't care about him."
Read the rest courtesy of Tarik at Capital Insider. So there, Don Cherry - just take your pint of boring vanilla ice cream home and stop the madness!