Sorry sports fans for my total lack of coverage of last night's win over the Kovy-less Thrashers. I had to get my hair done and missed much of the game - ugh, the things we women have to sacrifice to be presentable!
So tonight the boys from the "Island" rolled into Verizon Center trying to avenge an overtime loss at the hands of the Capitals during their last meeting. The Caps didn't have much downtime between tonight's game and last night's match in Atlanta. HM hopes that the resulting fatigue of the quick turnaround played a part in the sometimes sloppy mistakes during the first and second periods. As Coach Boudreau noted during today's practice, "great teams need not be happy with mediocrity." The boys lost the puck too many times this evening, trying to be "too cute" (another Gabby exclusive) or skate the puck up the middle and not quite getting it out of the zone.
The positive spin is that the boys continued their streak of lighting the lamp first with a power play goal from none other than Alex Ovechkin. The Islanders' young talent Kyle Okposo tied it up shortly after with an impressive goal of his own against our Jose Theodore.
End of first period: Caps 1 - New York Islanders 1
The second period did not get off to a smooth start as Mike Green (again boys with the skating the gosh-durned puck up the middle) made an ugly giveaway right in front of Theo's residence, resulting in a goal by the Islanders' Frans Nielsen. A bright spot for the Capitals was their second goal, courtesy of Tomas Fleischmann - yes, FLASH is back in business! Flash netted his first goal of the season after missing training camp, pre-season and most of this month after being diagnosed with a blood clot in his leg.
About eight minutes later, Flash struck again on a power play goal to give the boys a very temporary lead. The Caps' defense continued to play without a sense of urgency (or consistency for that matter) and the Isles' Frans Nielsen netted his second of the night, sliding a ridiculously soft one past Jose Theodore. So many needless turnovers in this period, HM thought she was watching the Redskins (ouch!). End of second period: Caps 3 - Islanders 3
Caps fans held their collective breath midway through the third as AO appeared to take a puck off the ankle and skated off in obvious pain. But as the saying goes, "Russian machine never break" - right? Flash was absolutely all over the place trying to score in the third - love that guys energy! But in the end, the boys couldn't put it together against the Isles' elder statesman in net, Dwayne Roloson and once again, these two teams were headed to overtime. The Capitals failed to put it away and this year's numero uno draft pick, one John Tavares, made a nice behind-the-net pass to team mate Mark Streit for the Islanders win. Final Score: Isles 4 - Capitals 3
Gabby mentioned the breakdowns in the post-game press conference but did not appear to be as upset as we've seen him in the past. He gave the boys credit for a 60-minute effort but again with the "too cute" business. I'm sure he'll be all sorts of chatty at his book signing tomorrow!
Next up for the Caps, a tough Columbus Blue Jackets team led by poster boy Steve Nash. The Jackets are sure to put up a tough fight with the likes of RJ Umberger (our former pal from the Flyers), Antoine Vermette, Kristian Huselius (one of the best hockey names ever) and Steve Mason in net. So until then, HM is signing off and wishing everyone a happy, safe and swine-flu free Halloween!