Caps come back from 0-3 to win in shootout. Probably not the way they envisioned beating one of the bottomfeeders of the Western Conference, but two point is two points. As with the opener, there was some good and some not-so-good, especially the way the Caps got out of the gate in the first period. You’d think they would have had a little more giddy-up. But it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Or something like that. Anyway, 5-4 win.
1) Congrats to Connor Carrick on his first NHL goal. He made a real nice move on the Calgary goalie to get him leaning before tucking the puck behind him. That move would have been pretty by a forward. However, the penalty that landed him in the box was a tough one to take. Carrick is talented to be sure, but he’s going to have plenty of growing pains if he’s going to stay in the lineup this season.
2) Poor Jack Hillen. For the second year in a row he’s knocked out of action before the first week of the season is over. The team admitted it was a lower leg injury, he could not put any weight on it coming off the ice or going down the runway to the locker room. It make the Caps waiver claim of Alexander Urbom that more critical. If they don’t feel like Orlov or Kundratek can help this team right now, they’ll have to get creative and Adam Oates might have to be flexible about this handedness fetish he has for a little while.
3) Alex Ovechkin is a stud. He’s picked up right where he left off last season, his third Hart Trophy campaign. Not only is he scoring goals, he’s instigating the action and playing physical. Teams have to account for him every time he’s on the ice.
4) I’m not impressed so far with Braden Holtby’s performance this season. With eight goals in not quite four periods, it’s be tough to be impressed. Sure, his defense isn’t playing great in front of him, but the first goal he allowed tonight was because he wasn’t on his post. NHL players can slip a puck into the smallest of holes, that’s why you can’t give them any. Holtby thought he had the upper left covered, but he left enough daylight to get beaten.
5) Marcus Johansson had a nice night. After mostly being a passenger in the opener on the road, MoJo must have liked the home cookin’ he got because he had a pretty good game. His three-assist game was Johansson’s first career three-point game and 19th career multi-point game. He was engaged and played a better overall game that his season debut.