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Sunday, April 4, 2010

ReCAP (4/3/10)

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(Photo from ESPN)

Jose Theodore is back.

Theodore made 34 saves, half of which seemed to be on Columbus breakaways, as he bailed the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This was a hard fought victory, and the Capitals, especially Theodore, were effective at keeping Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets at bay after roaring to a 3-0 lead in the first 14 minutes of the game. Columbus would score a shorthanded goal in the first period, and a even strength goal in the third period, but it was not enough to topple the Washington Capitals. The Caps had their franchise-record 51st win tonight, and are 1 win or San Jose Sharks loss away from clinching the President’s Trophy, given to the team with the best record in the NHL at the end of the regular season.

The Caps had a night where the scoring was spread around, with no player getting more than one point. Alexander Semin, Tomas Fleischmann, and Mike Green scored for the Capitals. Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ offense was primarily two people, with Antoine Vermette scoring both goals for Columbus, and Rick Nash getting both primary assists.

My Three Stars for the night;

* – Jose Theodore, Washington
** – Mike Green, Washington
*** – Rick Nash, Columbus

Some thoughts on the game….

  • Alexander Ovechkin is in a little bit of a scoring slump. He had no points, 2 shots, and –2 plus/minus rating.
  • Alexander Semin, the other Alex, has tied his career high for goals with 38. He is 3 points away from a career high. I think that, with 4 games left, he can break his career high in points and become a 40-goal scorer for the first time. Very good.
  • Nicklas Backstrom is 8 points away from 100. It is a little bit of a stretch with only 4 games left, but with a offensive outburst or two by the Capitals, it is very possible Nicky will hit 100.
  • Mike Green broke his career high in points, with his 74th of the season. Green is also now only 1 goal away from 20 for the season, a excellent feat by a defenseman.
  • The penalty kill was very good, especially when killing off 1:23 of 5-3 in the third period. Progress! Yes!
  • Rick Nash is a great player, sadly on a less-than-great team. I hope that he’ll eventually get a Stanley Cup, but it probably won’t be with Columbus.
  • Probably to Bruce Boudreau’s liking, the Capitals goalie situation is getting interesting right before the playoffs start. Semyon Varlamov had his strongest performance since returning from injury on Thursday with a .950 save percentage and 19 saves against the Thrashers; Jose Theodore then proceeded to one-up Varly with a .944 save percentage in a 34-save performance against the Columbus Blue Jackets. This is good news.
  • Mike Green had one of his best nights all season, absolutely fantastic, even Boudreau though so. Mike Green for Norris Trophy! He deserves it 100%.

I’ll end with a quote from RJ Umberger (Columbus) on Capitals;

"I don't think any team in the West would be overmatched by them. They play the wrong way."

Um, the Capitals have a 10-5-3 record against the West this season, which is tied with Buffalo for the best in the Eastern Conference. I’m pretty sure the Caps can handle the Western Conference…. they’ve won against Detroit, Chicago, San Jose, Colorado, and others this season.

Before you go, please check out the latest poll: “Who is the Capitals MVP?” Vote vote vote. Enjoy!

You can follow Musings of a Caps Fan on Twitter: @musings_scores

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