I do not know if my view from rink side as a game day photographer would have been better, but from the press box, I saw a second disappointing Caps loss to open the season. Here are the “snapshots” I would have taken:
This one would not have made the Inside Hockey site, but clearly was the most entertaining. The first time the ice crew came out to fix the ice in the first period, they left one of the workers on the ice. Seriously, they closed the door. A referee had to skate over and rescue him. I guess the Capitals weren’t the only ones who, as Coach Adam Oates would say after game 1’s 6-3 loss to the Lightning, “got tired at times.”
Snapshots 2, 3 and 4
Matt Hendricks scoring, fighting and fighting again. For the goal, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin had the assists. Marcus Johansson – Ovie’s and Backstrom’s linemate–was not on the ice. In fact, Hendricks played a lot with Ovie and Backstrom. In two games, Hendricks has one goal and a plus/minus of zero. Johansson has no goals, no assists and is a minus three.
In the first fight, Henricks beat Jim Slater after the expiration of the second period. The score was 4 to 1 Jets at the time. Fights like this are supposed to provide energy for the second period. But as Coach Oates said after the game, “the guys didn’t look like they had much in the tank.”
In the second fight, towards to the end of the third period, Hendricks took a nasty blow from Chris Thorburn, but regained balance and fought a fairly lengthy duel.
Great game by Hendricks. Not only a goal and two fights (almost a Gordie Howe hat trick), but he also lead the team with four hits.
Snapshots 5 and 6
Caps give up two power play goals, a slight improvement over the three power play goals the Caps surrendered to the Lightning in the opening day loss. Both were too easy. In the first period, Evander Kane scores unassisted off a John Carlson’s leg. Later in the first, Andrew Ladd plants himself in the middle of the ice a few feet in front of goalie Bradon Holtby and scores on a pass from Nik Antropov. No defensive pressure up the middle. Ovie on power play didn’t help.
Last picture. The sold-out Verizon Center crowd dressed in red was quiet. The audience lacked home opening day enthusiasm.
Nicklas Backstrom had two assists, setting up Hendricks in the first and Troy Brower in the third.
With an assist on Brower’s goal, Mike Ribeiro now leads the Capitals in points at 3.