I was at this game [photos], and to me, it looked like one of their best games this season. Antero Niittymaki was quoted saying something similar as well. But John, who had been texting me off and on during the game, wasn't so convinced.
Steven Stamkos's point streak stopped at 18 game, due to the fact that he didn't have any points in the game. He also ran out of sticks, apparently, and started using Matt Walker's sticks since they were similar. John texted that little fact to me, as I would have had no idea about that being in the stands. I did see him break his last one, because he looked pretty disgusted about that. Time for some wood sticks there, Stamkos?
It's so hard to compare the live game to tv, since you're seeing the game at two totally different angles and you don't always have the benefit of replays in the arena. When Vincent Lecavalier's goal was being reviewed, the Verizon Center did not show any replays of that until after the goal had been allowed. Until then, fans in the stands were sort of in the dark.
I was sitting in that end, and I saw it go off of Vinny, but I wasn't sure where. He immediately turned to the on-ice official, still on his knees, patting his elbow and obviously telling the guy that that's where the puck deflected in off of.
On the metro on my way home, there were a couple of Caps fans talking about that. They were saying that they were right behind the goal, that they thought that the puck definitely deflected in off of a high stick and that it should not have been allowed. Which just goes to show that people see what they want to see.
I thought that it was a great overall team effort. They played together as a team, which I haven't seem much of this season. And the defense was a lot better. Victor Hedman played much more confidently than I've seen him play in weeks. And Niittymaki was back to his old self - that was definitely good to see.
If they can keep playing like that for the final 15 games this season, then they might actually be able to make playoffs after all.
The next game is Sunday, 14 March. It's against the Pittsburgh Penguins at home. Game time is an early start - 5 pm Eastern. Dinner and hockey? Gotta love that.
Lightning vs Capitals coverage [SB Nation]
Japers' Rink [SB Nation Washington Capitals site]