Not much you can say about last night's game, which started horrendously from the get-go with Nick Backstrom taking an uncharacteristic double minor penalty in the opening minutes of the first period. It pretty much went downhill from there though there were sparks of light where it looked like the Caps might get back in the game after falling behind 3-0 in the opening period.
On a night where Jose Theodore was given the opportunity to redeem himself after losing several starts to youngster Michal Neuvirth, he looked like a sieve (though I must admit, he didn't get a whole lot of help from the other guys in red). The league's lowly Hurricanes brought their A-game and Eric Staal's 5-point performance showed why the Staal brothers possess some of the most hockey-blessed genes known to man. The Canes blew out our boys home with a solid 6-3 win, which actually saw the sold-out crowd booing the home team in frustration at times (not cool or warranted in my opinion - especially based on their outstanding record of late).
Post-game, Coach Boudreau stated that he didn't want to use the surprising trades of well-liked team mates Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina earlier in the day (earlier - as in a few hours before the guys reported to Verizon Center prior to puck drop) for the ugly loss, but acknowledged that it definitely could have affected some players in different ways. Hockey Mom cant' help but imagine that the trades had lots to do with last night's debacle. Just imagine reporting for game night with absolutely no idea and then being informed that two of your pals have been dealt without even having the chance to say buh-bye that afternoon. Captain Chris Clark, the gritty and fearless leader who's taken more than his share of pucks to the face, ears and nether regions, was a beloved team mate both on and off the ice. As was Milan Jurcina, affectionately known to his mates and fans as "Juice" - the big guy did a heck of a job clearing those pesky pucks from behind the net, a problem that the Caps have been struggling with (let's just use last night as an example).
Unfortunately, hockey is a business and GMGM did what he thinks is best for the team at this stage of the season. I don't think that will be the last of the wheelin' and dealin' either nor do many in the hockey media.
So for now, the boys will have to regroup and get ready to face a very-talented San Jose team, who are coming off a shoot out win over the Coyotes and sit just one spot below first-ranked Chicago in the Western Conference. We'll have to wait and see who gets the nod in net against the offensively talented Sharks and whether or not new team mate Jason Chimera will get a chance to show Caps fans what he's got on the brief West Coast swing. In the mean time, HM joins Caps fans in wishing both Juice and Clark the best of luck with the Blue Jackets - you will be missed by your fans and team mates alike...