It would be easy to go with an "Alex Ovechkin does it again" theme to this recap, but that might obscure the fact that the Caps put forth a sub-par effort and were lucky to escape with a win against the worst team in the League.
Some thoughts on the game:
- Killing off a first period penalty, Tomas Fleischmann and Brooks Laich held the puck in the Islander zone for what had to be ten or fifteen seconds and created a scoring opportunity or two along the way, basically two-on-five. That moment went a long way towards telling you everything you need to know about how bad the Isles are right now.
- Speaking of penalties, the five infractions for which the Caps were whistled were all handed out to skill forwards (and Chris Clark), and if memory serves, only AO's "puck over the glass" was committed in the defensive zone. Not good.
- Pretty impressive Sea of Red in the background here. That was a road game, no?
- Jose Theodore had another very strong game en route to his 200th career win. JT60 is only the 63rd goalie in NHL history to reach that mark, and he hasn't given up an even strength goal in 136:43.
- In two games against the Caps this year, Brendan Witt has a minus-five rating and has either been on the ice or in the penalty box for every goal the Caps have scored (including the two power play tallies yesterday). Yikes.
- Boyd Gordon won 71% of his defensive zone draws and 62% overall (welcome back), but the team leaders on the day overall were Nicklas Backstrom (69%) and Michael Nylander (67%). Huh?
- AO was credited with zero hits on the day. Needless to say, that's pretty rare.
And so it's off to Ottawa, where the Caps will try their best to head into the All-Star Game on a high note. At least, you'd hope they'd try their best...