Oh god, the Washington Capitals blew a two-goal lead, which is bad, but they did it to the Arizona Coyotes, which is humiliating. This should have been as close to a guaranteed W as you’re gonna get in today’s NHL. Instead it’s devastation.
After a goalless first period, Alex Ovechkin did his one-timer thing on the power-play to get number 787 as well as some other milestones. Early in the third, Anthony Mantha caught a bad clear and backhanded his fourth goal of the season. Arizona defender Josh Brown exploited some net-front traffic to put the Coyotes on the board (surviving a goalie-interference challenge). With ten minutes left, Nick Ritchie hits the crossbar and in to tie the game—wiping out Washington’s two-goal lead. Ritchie scored again in the final minute, humiliating the Capitals, you personally, also me, your pets, estranged family members, crab rangoon, things of that nature. We are all haunted by this loss.
Caps lose 3-2.
- Alex Ovechkin passed Gordie Howe for most goals scored for a single franchise. It was also his fourth goal in five games. This one was a great pass by Trevor van Riemsdyk, who sent it a bit wide of the traditional Ovi spot– a lot like how Erik Gustafsson did it a few nights ago. Interesting for several reasons, one of which being: why was TvR out on the power play?
- Because Dmitry Orlov left the game after the first period. The Caps said he was questionable return, and return he did not. Orlov is the team’s ice-time leader. Any missed games will hurt dearly. Here’s the other currently guys out: Malenstyn, Oshie, Wilson, Brown, Backstrom, Hagelin, and Carlson. 🪦
- I don’t have an opinion about the Reverse Retro jerseys. I have complicated and elaborate opinions about everything else (the political content in Andor, pressure canning food, Turnstile getting a song on a Taco Bell commercial, the corrosive effect of profit motive in public commons like Twitter, socks [you should have a lot of them]), but I don’t have one about the RRs. They look fine.
- Connor McMichael got a season-high in ice time by a lot (eleven minutes, two full minutes above his previous high). His line was Washington’s weakest, trading one Caps goal for one Yotes goal.
- The Caps safely dominated play, owning play 60 percent of shot attempts through two periods. But the game was much closer in all-situation expected goals (53 to 46 percent at last check). Add to that Washington failing to finish their chances and you get a let-down against a historically bad hockey team.
- I had been worried about Anthony Mantha‘s low production given how injured the team is. Saturday’s game was easy mode, but he still gets full credit from me.
- Out-of-town update: Ex-Caps goalie Ilya Samsonov left Toronto’s game with a knee injury. Toronto’s other goalie Matt Murray is also out.
- sonny milano made his Capitals debut, wearing a respectful number. His most noteworthy plays were energetic backchecks, something neither he nor Washington have a reputation for. Defensive play was apparently one of the reasons why Milano couldn’t get a deal last summer. I like a dude on a performance-improvement plan, setting SMART goals and probably utilizing the pomodoro method.
#joebsuitofthenight reverse retro jersey edition pic.twitter.com/AVLldFggf5
— good tweet pete 🌮 (@peterhassett) November 5, 2022
My official position is that the Caps are in their float era, and how they play doesn’t matter right now. What matters is raking in points until the dudes get healthy. They couldn’t even do that.
Anyway, my whole framing kinda falls apart when guys keep getting hurt. Dmitry Orlov quietly carries a major burden for this team. His loss would hurt badly and broadly. So that’s what I care about tonight. I’m gonna pretend the other stuff didn’t happen. Let’s see if I’m successful.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins