I wasn't able to watch Saturday's Caps/Yotes game; we were having friends over to watch the Duke/Carolina game (my wife went to Duke). I tried to avoid finding out what happened; I ignored the TV that had the game on when I went to pick up food. I did watch five or so minutes of the beginning while waiting for people to come downstairs for the basketball game (and the Caps looked pretty good). When I saw a hockey score on the chyron during the basketball game, I resolutely ignored it. But towards the end of the game, I happened to look down right as the Caps score came up.
Knowing the result, I haven't yet gotten myself to watch the whole game.
There was certainly some scary stuff in the lead-up to the game. Beforehand, the Caps needed about a 106-pt pace for the remaining games to hope to make the playoffs. I also saw the lines, and the centers were (in order, top to bottom): Backstrom, Beagle, Fehr, and Stoa. After Nicky, that's a scary bunch, and not for the opposition (Beagle, 2C? Really?).
Also, Kuznetsov finally signed with the Caps, but wasn't available for the game (no practicing, I would guess, although I didn't hear a reason given).
So I was shocked when the Caps looked pretty good for those few minutes. And I was similarly shocked when I found out they had won, 3-2.
So how did they do it? Well, they did outplay Phoenix for the first ten minutes or so. Then, they flat-lined for the rest of the period (yes, zero (!) fenwick events), and were still outplayed for most of the rest of the game. But Halak stood strong (never thought I'd be happy to say that), and only allowed two goals, and it looks like the Coyotes went to sleep in the middle of the third.
In that bed-a-bye time, Alzner and Laich (Huh? and huh?, respectively) scored, with Brouwer picking up a power play tally a few minutes later for the decider. The three scorers had five shots, between them, although Alzner and Brouwer were one and two in CF% on the team (Chimmer, Ward, and Hillen were the bottom three).
So, overall? Well, we'll take the result, unlikely as it was.
Next up are the Penguins, home and home, tonight at the phone booth. Let's hope Kuzya (fourth line, to start) shines, and Caps abuse the Pens bottom two lines, because that's what it'll take for them to win. Go Caps!