The Washington Capitals had the Toronto Maple Leafs right where they wanted them. With 20 minutes left, the Caps had a 4-1 lead over the Leafs and it looked like the home team would cruise to another victory. But.
The Leafs tied the game with three unanswered third period goals (the second time that Toronto has done that against the Caps this season) and left Washington with a 5-4 shootout win (the second time the Caps and Leafs have done that this season). The saving grace of this game was the play of Mathieu Perreault; his two goals provided sparks early on and his place in the lineup becomes more solidified with every game. I think this Caps Wrap should be broken into good stuff and bad stuff. Do you want the good news or the bad news?
FIrst things first. The mystery medical drama, known as “IR,” was much ado about nothing. Tyler Sloan is on injured reserve and will not be available until next Saturday. You can determine if that is good or bad.
The Good News
- What a game by Perreault. Two goals, plus-2, 4/7 on faceoffs in just over 13 minutes on the ice. There were plenty of conversations a few weeks ago regarding Marcus Johansson, Perreault and whether or not MJ90 was ready. Why not have both? Perreault may not become a full-time fixture just yet, but the Capitals have amazing depth at the center position. Also, MP85’s goal celebration will now be known as the “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Perreault-bot.” Patent pending.
- The veteran defensive pairing of Tom Poti and Scott Hannan worked wonders tonight and played like two guys with over 1500 games of NHL experience should. Poti had three assists, Hannan had three hits and despite being on the ice during Toronto’s tying goal, they played well as a unit. Having such a pairing will do nothing but help develop the young pairing of John Carlson and Karl Alzner while also giving the Caps another potent offensive-defensive defensive pairing.
- Alex Ovechkin broke his nine-game goalless drought Saturday and decided to add another one tonight. It’s freezing out, but perhaps Ovechkin is heating up.
The Bad News
- It must be Bizarro Alex World, because Alex Semin has disappeared. Semin has one goal since his hat trick against Tampa Bay November 26. And six PIM in that same time span. The Semin of old is poking his ugly head out.
- Carlson and Alzner had a terrible night. Alzner’s turnover directly led to Clarke MacArthur’s first goal, the pair was a combined minus-2 and were on the ice for three of Toronto’s four goals.
- Jeff Schultz is out for four to six weeks with a fractured thumb. With Sloan’s trip to the IR, the Caps are only carrying six defensemen right now.
- I have said it before and I will say it again. This team has no killer instinct whatsoever. It’s becoming ridiculous.