Been having trouble finding time to write this, as well (yes, one of these days, I'll post more about the Hong Kong trip).
I felt good, three games ago, when OV got his hat trick (and quadrupled his career goal total against Hedburg). I'd said he'd score a lot if he kept playing like that; didn't expect it to be that soon, of course, but was still very happy to see it. One other thing I didn't mention was that, this season, they've dropped the Ovechcam in favor of the Iso Cam. Well, if OV keeps playing like that, they can change the name back. We'll see.
Serious kudos, also, to Fehr in that game, for getting the Caps a shortie. That was a damned sweet play, resulting from skill and hard work. The rest of the third line was also pretty good in that one.
And Brouwer had a good game there, as well.
The game, two nights ago, against the Hurricanes, was really an excellent one. The Caps played well from start to finish, and was seriously dominating for much of the game. My wife says I jinxed them doing better (and us getting cheap pizza), when, five minutes into the second, I said that if they kept playing like that, they'd win 5-0 or 6-1. Granted, the Canes have a lot of injuries, especially on the back end, but that still felt really good to watch.
Oh, and Erskine scored a goal. What were the odds? If he could do that with any regularity, I wouldn't mind the ridiculous contract extension he signed the day before. The length was fine, but just paying way too much for a 6/7/8 defender. Can't understand it at all.
Moving on, we then they got to last night's game against the Flyers. Wow, that was ugly. A couple of bad bounces, coupled with aggressive play by the Flyers, gave the zoomies a lead thirty seconds in. A power play shortly thereafter led to doubling that lead four minutes into the game. Despite being heavily outplayed, they did manage to keep that margin from growing for the rest of that period.
But it didn't significantly improve in the second. Ward got sent off for a pretty ticky-tack boarding call early on (he'd pulled up, and didn't even lead with his shoulder, so I was certainly surprised by the call), and the orange and black converted again. Eleven minutes later, Philadelphia extended that lead again, and I had had enough. Apparently, Oates had had enough of Holtby as well, as he was sent to the showers early.
The thing that blows my mind most about the game is that, usually when a team is down by more than two goals, they heavily outshoot the opposition. This time? Nope. I'm not sure, but I don't think they outshot the Flyers when down four; they definitely didn't do it when down three-plus.
The only positive I can come up with is that Grubauer (backing up Holtby because Neuwirth was sick) did pretty well, stopping all fourteen shots he faced (incidentally, IIRC, Holtby's first NHL action was taking over mid-game against Philadelphia as well).
It was just butt-ugly, and I'm glad I turned it off when I did. I almost wish I'd turned it off even earlier, in fact.
Oh well. A couple of days off, then to face the Jets on Saturday in Winnipeg. Don't want to know how cold it will be, there.