A languid afternoon for some hockey, and it began as a rout but ended all too dramatically. Recalling some in-game energy and determination issues from last season's Capitals squad. A classic tale of, essentially, two halves of a game, one played by each team.
But now we all can breathe a sigh of relief, because everyone appears healthy, and the real thing is just days away.
Ten notes on the game:
- The rink was good n' cold today. And pretty boisterous crowd for a pre-season Sunday. Opposite the 'Skins.
- Slogging through a day-long fan convention yesterday didn't appear to dampen the energy level of this Capitals bunch, for a noon start. Until midway through the second. Semyon Varlamov included. A lot of photo posing yesterday wears on the body, I guess.
- Brooks Laich's pick-pocketing of Michal Rozsival, recovering the puck, and deking Henrik Lundqvist in tight, is something we've heretofore seen only from the best of 'em. Wow.
- With Quintin Laing (potentially) on this squad, the PK contingent looks quite deep. With the ability to rotate Laing, Boyd Gordon and Brooks Laich up front (David Steckel was in the box), a five-on-three kill didn't seem so daunting. Or maybe that's just my relaxed, pre-season disposition.
- Mike Knuble went straight to the net as Alex Ovechkin cranked it from the circle's edge in the first, and got two rebound whacks at the top of the crease. He was also in prime position to bang in lots more rebounds throughout the game. Like today, a healthy number of those pucks are going in this season.
- On the second line front, Brendan Morrison deflected down a slapper in front of Henrik Lundqvist, then authoring a dangerous wrap-around attempt that rang iron. Perhaps softening King Henrik up a bit for allowing a long range Alexander Semin goal that he'd like to have back. Good chemistry there today too, and give Semin some time to home in on those passes from Mo behind the net.
- Brendan on playing with Semin on line two: "I think it has the makings of a line that can compliment the top line, and add some secondary scoring. My job is to get pucks to him, and make sure that he has chances for shots."
- And comparing today's teammates to those back in Vancouver: "It's been a long time since I've played with a group of guys with this much skill." (And by the way, his neck feels better and "good enough to play.")
- Hell of a shot by Brian Pothier. Perfect screen and deflection by C-Bo. Textbook.
- Mike Green flat-out skated today.
Now, we await the final cuts down to 23 in the coming days, and settle in to watch it all begin to unfold.