(apologies in advance there will be multiple karate kid and cobra kai references in this blog)
Capitals Hockey is officially back and now gives us something to look forward too during this crazy world we live in right now.
The Caps start the season on the right foot with a high kick to the chin of those Buffalo Sabres with a final of 6-4 in upstate NY!
In typical Caps fashion the scoring got started from our two fearless leaders connecting to give the Caps a 1-0 lead in the first with an Ovechkin pass to Backstrom.
From there the Sabres new member Taylor Hall then responded with a power-play goal of his own. Then TJ Oshie turned an Ovi rebound into a goal to give us the lead at the end of the first period.
In the second our own Johnny “Lawrence” Carlson showed us his offensive skill with a silky snipe on a breakaway and showed us why he was a Norris contender last season. Then shortly after the Caps killed a penalty, Brenden Dillon finally got his first goal as a Washington Capital. After two periods the Caps lead 4-2.
Early in the 3rd the Sabres made it a one goal game after winning a board battle and a nice tape to tape pass the Caps looked to lose some momentum.
The Caps responded almost immediately with a Jakub Vranna goal by creating a turnover of his own. Late in the 3rd Victor Olofsson netted a one-timer to make it a one goal game again.
Then quick after Garnet Hathaway scored an empty netter to seal the Caps first win of 2021!
Some takeaways from the game, it was still weird to see Zdeno Chara actually playing in a Cap’s sweater. Was it just me or did he look even bigger in a Caps jersey than he did in Boston?!
In his first game as the Caps number one goalie Ilya Samsonov gave up 4 goals which is less than ideal for a number one guy, but I anticipate some growing pains which they will work themselves out once his full confidence is there. So given the shortened season its gonna be whatever goalie is hotter will get the start between Sammy and Vitek Vanecek unless one of these guys just excels more than the other and runs away with the starting position. So I’m hoping this competition brings the best out of our two young studs.
Then there was this high hit from Nic Dowd who had two penalties on the night. This high hit to Eric Staal will be interesting if he may get a game given how league has been handling hits near the head. In my opinion let the boys play! Should it have been a penalty… yes, but should he get a game…no!
It is still very early to figure out what the identity will be for our beloved Capitals during this weird shortened season, but time will tell and I’m all in for it!
All in all the Caps showed solid effort compared to that bubble disaster and I like the new pieces we have now. The season doesn’t officially start still Ovi gets a geno, but for now lets just be excited hockey is back and we get to watch our boys play again.
Oh almost forgot my favorite part of the game 1 win. The Capital’s this season have fully embraced the Karate Kid/ Cobra Kai lifestyle and now will be giving karate headbands to the offensive and defensive MVPs of that game! (Offensive: Cobra Kai “Strike Hard Strike First”, Defense: Miyagi “”when the fight comes to you, you have to be ready to fight back.”)
I don’t know about you but to get that headband would be pretty sick and you can just tell from the boys in the background how fired up they were for their teammates to be the first ones to get the headband. You can even hear Ovi yelling “ninja ninja” the background which gave me a good laugh.
Game 1 MVPs
Offense: TJ Oshie
Defense: Brenden Dillon