Apr 13, 2011, 11:16 PM EST
Whether it’s their carefree attitudes, perceived lack of production* or the simple sports writing formula of “Team doesn’t win = player is a choker,” there are many hockey people who revel in the “failures” of Semin and Ovechkin. Those people probably weren’t very happy with the results of Game 1, as Ovechkin tied the game up in the third period while Semin scored the overtime game-winner and assisted on Ovechkin’s tally as well.
Washington 2, NY Rangers 1 (OT); Capitals lead 1-0
This was the tight-checking, rugged defensive game that some assumed would be too much for Washington. Anyone who’s been following this team during the 2010-11 season (rather than leaning on outdated opinions) would know that they’ve grown quite a bit in that area, something they showed by grinding out a tough win against a resilient team.
The first two periods went without a goal as Henrik Lundqvist and Michal Neuvirth kept both teams off the board. Matt Gilroy finally gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead about two minutes into the third period, followed by that video-reviewed Ovechkin goal at the 13:44 mark. The game then went into overtime, putting greater pressure on the Capitals.
It looked like that pressure would increase that much more as the two teams slugged it out deep into the first (and only) overtime period, but Semin scored a resounding goal with about a minute and a half left to win it for Washington. Marc Staal is a great defensive defenseman, but he coughed up the puck to Jason Arnott, who made a nice play to keep the puck in the Rangers’ zone before setting up Semin’s winner.
Lundqvist made 33 saves in the game, often frustrating the Capitals shooters with his world-class netminding, but it wasn’t enough. Neuvirth had a comparatively easy night, passing his first test as Washington’s No. 1 goalie by stopping 24 out of 25 shots.
Obviously, it’s erroneous to judge an entire two month playoff schedule by one night of action, but Wednesday’s game does force the question: is it time to take Semin and Ovechkin seriously? If they keep it up, their detractors will have to eat some playoff crow.
* Semin has 26 points in 29 career playoff games, while Ovechkin has a whopping 41 in 29. They might not have blemish-free games, but calling them chokers seems downright silly.
Nov 25, 2014, 3:31 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Nov 25, 2014, 3:31 PM EST
“I would rather fight than turtle or anything like that.”
Nov 25, 2014, 2:36 PM EST
This is… surprising.
Nov 25, 2014, 2:25 PM EST
Cory Schneider to “see what kind of player he is” tonight.
Nov 25, 2014, 2:01 PM EST
The Blue Jackets, Flyers, Avalanche, Stars, and Sharks all made the playoffs last season. But they’re not in position now.
Nov 25, 2014, 1:47 PM EST
GM Dale Tallon reportedly wants to make room for some youngsters.
Nov 25, 2014, 1:25 PM EST
For the first time since Nov. 1.
Nov 25, 2014, 12:38 PM EST
That’s a picture of former first-rounder Alex Plante.
Nov 25, 2014, 12:28 PM EST
Pointless in 17 games this season.
Nov 25, 2014, 12:01 PM EST
So says Patrick Roy.
Nov 25, 2014, 11:34 AM EST
Isles were the biggest risers.
Nov 25, 2014, 10:43 AM EST
“Of course, I’m not too happy.”
Nov 25, 2014, 9:55 AM EST
“So I won’t be playing that much next game, I don’t think.”
Nov 25, 2014, 8:59 AM EST
They’re drawing just 12,404 fans per game.
Nov 25, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
Tuesday’s collection of links.
Nov 24, 2014, 11:54 PM EST
“I understand the business.”
Nov 24, 2014, 10:32 PM EST
Steve Mason stole a point for Philly tonight.
Nov 24, 2014, 9:59 PM EST
The Bruins manage a point via that 3-2 OT loss.
Nov 24, 2014, 9:31 PM EST
It’s been a rough ride since he signed with Detroit.
Nov 24, 2014, 9:01 PM EST
They enter the third period tied with Pittsburgh 2-2.
- On the odds of fighting back after Thanksgiving 2
- Why are the Oilers still bad? Look at their drafting 9
- The Leafs are worth almost seven times the Panthers, says Forbes 11
- Isles make some history; Are the Flyers headed for trouble? 40
- Crosby, Malkin power Penguins, help Fleury grab 300th win 5
- Sooner than later? Bruins GM hopes Chara can return in 10-14 days 1
- With worst save percentage in NHL, Oilers fire goalie coach 22
- Pat Quinn, ‘one of hockey’s most respected individuals,’ has died 14
- NHL on NBCSN: Bruins seek perfect game vs. Penguins 8
- Legendary hockey coach Viktor Tikhonov has died 15
- Video: Milan Lucic calls Dalton Prout one-punch ‘gutless’ (99)
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ (88)
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now (79)
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (58)
- After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’ (51)