As I was busy in the Flyer-crazy city of Philadelphia at one of the twin's first tournaments, I apparently missed an absolute humdinger of a win on Verizon ice last night! The Caps took a commanding lead over the visiting Maple Leafs and just dominated the rough and tumble Leafs in the first period, which saw goals from Ovie (at 1:17 into the period no less), Mike Knuble (with his first as a Capital) and a fabulous breakaway and lovely deke Vesa Toskala out of his mind goal by Brooks Laich. HM heard that last goal on my trusty XM NHL Home Ice satellite radio as we were driving from rink to hotel.
The boys also saw two goals from Alex Semin and one from new kid on the block Brendan Morrison. The Caps maintained a hefty lead of 6-1 going into the third, but the determined Leafs tacked on three goals in the final period. Semyon Varlamov apparently had a terrific evening while hockey fans got their first look at the Leafs' much hyped young goaltender Jonas Gustavsson (AKA "the Monster"). But last night the Monster wasn't able to scare away the Caps, allowing three goals on 19 shots.
The Caps will face some stiff competition this week as they take on the thugged up Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, the New York Rangers on Thursday and the Western Conference Champion Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Speaking of the Flyers, the Philadelphia area McDonalds are featuring Flyers-themed orange milkshakes - I kid you not. One of the dads on one of the teams we played this weekend was sporting his shiny orange Mike Richards jersey. Not sure if it was the jersey or all the complaining to the refs, but Hockey Mom had a compelling urge to punch him in the face. But alas, HM is all about good sportsmanship so I had to restrain myself. True to history, Tuesday's game with the Flyers is sure to be quite colorful!
So our team lost the playoffs this weekend, which means we won't be making the trip to Canada in January (and that's a bad thing?). HM is always amused by the stuff I witness at these tournaments though. Seen and heard this weekend:
-When one of the kids swatted the puck out of the air and returned it to play, a parent from the opposing team started yelling "That's a two-minute penalty for swooping!" Swooping? If anyone knows where "swooping" is referenced in the USA Hockey or NHL rulebooks, drop me a note as that's a new one on me!
-Our boys got invited into a reunion party for World War II veterans who were all stationed on the USS Quincy. The whole team danced, sang karaoke and shook hands with these distinguished heroes - it was really a cool thing to see!
I'm hoping that this weekend will be the last Caps game I'll have to miss for awhile. Stay tuned for fun and interesting facts on this week's action!