I keep a notebook with me when I watch the games, in case something pops in my head that I’d like to remember for later. Usually it’s something along the lines of “Can I make two rival hockey teams out of the Founding Fathers?” (Answer: yes, the New York Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton, and the Potomac Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson)
So sometime in the beginning of the third I wrote, “Just write about Neuvirth again.” I had big plans! This game seemed to really cement Neuvy as our number one. It seemed like he was well and truly challenged, having faced eight penalties, including a double minor and a period of 5-on-3, and only giving up one PPG. He faced 21 shots in the first, which is just one fewer than the Capitals managed all game. He bailed out the Caps multiple times when they started playing like confused puppies. And he was still named the 3rd star of the game! Plus, on the human interest side, Joe B and Locker had an amusing anecdote about how he was using Holtby’s stick, but with the name crossed out.
And then everything went pear-shaped… again. It was a complete retread of Tuesday’s game, where they played for maybe 45 minutes before deciding figure skating was more their speed. Two quick goals by the Leafs, and there’s not enough left in the tank to come back, physically or psychically (not to mention the distribution of ice time was knocked off-kilter after eight penalties).
We spent a lot of this game (and particularly the end) looking disorganized, which is a shame because the Leafs spent a lot of it looking equally wrong-footed. Our power play looked much better than theirs, which was a source of comfort once they had racked up their EIGHTH penalty. At one point I didn’t even realize they were on the power play. I suppose, though, they got their revenge when Ovechkin spent valuable seconds skating gaily in giant circles after we pulled Neuvy. It was a powerful example of how timid he’s become in taking shots (just 2 in tonight’s game and 2 against Ottawa).
Big ups to Joel Ward, though. Team leader in goals! He’s this season’s Jason Chimera.