The Washington Capitals had a very bad night. Playing host to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Caps were just off, at times almost seeming as if they had missed half a week of practice to COVID precautions. And that was before Fehervary and Wilson got hurt.
Danton Heinen scored a rush goal in the first period, and Brock McGinn got a lucky bounce in the second period. Kasperi Kapenen caught a pass from Crosby to make it 3-0. Alex Ovechkin set up Evgeny Kuznetsov for a rush attack, ending the shutout with twelve minutes to go. The Caps kept pushing, getting another from Eller during six-on-five play. Jeff Carter got the empty-netter, and that was that.
- The Caps have had a weird week, limiting contact after losing a few players to the COVID protocol. The rust was evident in the team’s spotty play– missed passes, dropped coverage, unfortunate turnovers were pretty common.
- Brock McGinn put a shoulder into the chin of Martin Fehervary in the second period. There was no penalty on the play, and ESPN called it “an unfortunate hit to the head.” Fehervary did not return for the third period. The Caps defense was already down Trevor van Riemdsyk…
what do the pens have against Fehervary, specifically? pic.twitter.com/vzZsLUhzX6
— HockeyKot (@hockeykot) December 11, 2021
- Tom Wilson got tripped and then crashed into the Penguins net in the second period. I don’t know if that was the cause, but Wilson did not return for the third period.
- I had liked an earlier ESPN+ broadcast, and I certainly like the idea of having new voices, but this was a disappointing game from them. The minimization of the headshot was was bad, and John Tortorella’s anti-fun rant during the intermission was worse, but calling my nephew Nic Dowd “Jim” was a bridge too far. There was also some extended monologue about how Wayne Gretzky’s trade to LA influenced the birth of Alex Ovechkin (born three years later, a hemisphere away). I couldn’t follow that one.
- With his assist on Kuznetsov’s and Eller’s goals, Alex Ovechkin has 43 points this season, passing his total from last season in 18 fewer games.
- That was a rough start for Ilya Samsonov to pull, with lots of rush chances and unlucky bounces and almost no goal support.
No Joe B suit. Here’s the view from my nerd_cave.
This is how leet haxorz watch hockey pic.twitter.com/Zku5HY7NN0
— good tweet pete taco emoji (@peterhassett) December 11, 2021
Not a good game, but two standings points — who cares? The much bigger deal is the team’s health. Add Fehervary (head) and Wilson (upper body) to Backstrom (hip), Mantha (upper body), Dowd (COVID), Hathaway (COVID), and van Riemsdyk (COVID). That’s a daunting list. The only bright side I can see is a relatively easy schedule for the rest of the month.
Well, I said relatively easy. This depleted-ass lineup has to fly up to Buffalo now to play against the Sabres tomorrow. Gonna need some more Hershey Bears.
Headline photo: David L from the Discord, who had fun at the game despite it sucking mightily