For a young team, confidence is often everything. The Caps jumped out to a 4-0 lead, thanks to a snow-balling amount of confidence after scoring the game's first goal. But after the Tampa scored the first goal of the third period, one could see doubt creeping into the Caps' collective mind. When Tampa scored a second time, the Caps confidence was completely shot and the team was skating around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off.
Luckily, Olie Kolzig is a veteran goalie who is nearly immune to such lapses in confidence. Facing a whopping 50 shots on goal, Kolzig was only beaten twice as he led to the Caps to their first win in seven games.
In addition to Kolzig's brilliant effort, the team got secondary scoring (three of the team's four lines potted goals), and great penalty-killing (including a Boyd Gordon shortie). Read all about it from whatever source you want at Washington Hockey Daily, but I found this excerpt from The Peerless Prognosticator particularly interesting:
The number that sticks in The Peerless’ head this morning is this one . . .
That represents the total of shots on goal, missed shots, and shots blocked by Capitals. That’s approximately one shot sent toward the net every 45 seconds. And let’s put that number in further perspective. Last night, the Milwaukee Bucks scored more points in an NBA game than any other team – 109. In doing so, they took 85 shots from the floor (we don’t include free throws for this comparison, since the clock is stopped for those instances). The Tampa effort was as close to a run-and-gun NBA game as you’re likely to find.
Rink reader Tim also pointed me to these numbers from the good folks at Elias:
Alexander Ovechkin scored a goal, his 10th of November, in Washington's 5-2 win over the Lightning. It's already the third calendar month in which Ovechkin has scored 10 or more goals; he also did so in January and March. Since Ovechkin entered the league as a rookie last October, the only other NHL player to record three 10-goal months is Jonathan Cheechoo.Next up for the Caps, Dallas and the return of favorite son Jeff Halpern on Thursday night. I'm already getting a little verklempt.
Olaf Kolzig stopped 48 of 50 Tampa Bay shots on goal to lead the Capitals to a 5-2 win over the Lightning. Kolzig is 4-0-1 this season in the five games in which he's made 40 or more saves. The Islanders' Mike Dunham and the Blues' Manny Legace are the only other NHL goaltenders with even two such wins this season.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
- Pens fans are so totally awesome.
- Ever wonder if your friend the Thrasher fan is talking too much trash? Well, he probably is.
- Hart: Olie Kolzig (W, 48 saves on 50 shots against in 5-2 win at Tampa)
- Ross: Marian Hossa (4 points)
- Norris: Dion Phaneuf (G, A, +1)
- Vezina: Cristobal Huet (36-save shootout shutout win)
- Richard: Bobby Holik, Adam Hall, Colby Armstrong (2G each)
- Calder: Paul Stastny (G, A)
- Aiken: Johan Holmqvist (L, 3 goals allowed on 13 shots in 36:29 of work)