I had this strange dream. I dreamed that the Capitals ended last weekend with three straight losses and two 5-0 shutouts to less-talented teams. There’s no way that could have happened, considering Friday’s amazing performance against the Tampa Bay Lightning. If you haven’t realized yet, I’m being facetious. But really, last week’s demise has been greatly exaggerated and the Capitals put on a hockey clinic in a 6-0 victory over a streaking Lightning team. Alexander Semin had his third hat trick of the season and everybody else clicked on all cylinders offensively and defensively. Today is “Black Friday,” so it would make sense to Caps Wrap something. Just don’t trample me; I’m fragile.
- Semin has been nothing short of spectacular. He scored three goals in the second period for a natural hat trick and set a franchise record by doing so; his three tricks in 35 days is the fastest in franchise history, shattering Peter Bondra’s three in 60 days. And he did it all with just 15:27 TOI. Semin also played 2:08 on the penalty kill and scored two of his three on the power play. Most importantly, no dumb penalties. There is still plenty of season left, so Sasha will hopefully continue his torrid start and earn a fat contract at season’s end. Or better yet, a Stanley Cup.
- The defense did its part to shut down Steven Stam-&-Ko…s…but also scored half of the goals tonight. John Carlson, John Erskine and Tom Poti all scored and Brian Fahey lent an assist. The Capitals’ D has scored 15 goals this season, 10 of those not coming from Mike Green. To put that into perspective, Caps defensemen not wearing #52 only scored a total of 18 goals last year. In fact, the D has scored almost one-fifth of the total goals this season (15 out of 82). When your defensive corps can combine shutdown defense with uncanny offense, hide your kids and hide your wife. Or Mike Smith.
- The power play struggles are now a distant memory. The Caps are 6-for-18 in their past four games (33.3%) and are now 4th in the NHL at 24.1%.
- There is only one thing that can properly end this Caps Wrap. What we saw Friday was KILLER INSTINCT. Cue music.