The Washington Capitals looked stylish for their big outdoor game against the Carolina Hurricanes. But they played terribly. They were methodically dismantled by a top team in front of 56,961 fans, a national television audience and a clown named Jake Owen.
After two minutes of play, the Canes score on their first shot: a deflection by Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The Canes scored three goals in the second half, starting with Paul Stastny all alone up front, through Martin Necas’ one-timer in power and continuing with Teuvo Teravainen on the run.
The Caps played apocalyptically in the third period, but Tom Wilson scored a goal without an angle to break the shutout.
The selections lose 4-1. Awful.
the capitals present themselves at the stadium pic.twitter.com/kRWndMt2Oq
— good tweet pete 🌮 (@peterhassett) February 18, 2023
- Boy, those jerseys looked good. Much better than the one in Carolina, where the jersey numbers weren’t readable on TV. I didn’t like their helmets either.
- What else but the game can I talk about? Oh, the dog. The dog was great.
WHAT A DROP OF PUPPY 🐶 @RipkenTheBatDog crushed! #StadiumSeries
🇺🇸: @ESPNMore ➡️ https://t.co/LLngxnSfEF
🇨🇦: @Sportsnet ➡️ https://t.co/cfcKyr3OOi #NHLonSN pic.twitter.com/WCppPVCECB
— NHL (@NHL) February 19, 2023
- People often say “we don’t deserve dogsbut they are wrong. We invented dogs. We’ve seen big scary wolves and for over ten thousand years or whatever we’ve turned them into pugs. We deserve dogs.
- Jack Owen? More like Jacques NO-magnifying glass. Pimp with two first names.
- OK very good. I’m giving up. Hockey balls now. The Caps weren’t massively outshot on goal in the first half, but they couldn’t generate any good offensive chances. The offense is still absent.
- The Caps had a good man-play chance once when Dylan Stromwho does not normally play to the advantage of men, made noise in the paint.
- matt irvin lost his man on Kotkaniemi’s goal. Nick Jensen lost all object permanence on Stastny’s goal.
- Thomas Wilson returned to action after missing seven games with a lower body injury. He scored his third of his season (just nine games) from the top line, which was the best line on the team.
- Unlike the second line of Johansson-Backstrom-Sheary, which was abysmal, unplayable, execrable, vehicular clown, butttier, post-Cliff Metallica, bad.
- Ian talked earlier about how the Caps said they were going to win this game for Ovechkin and all that. “We want to get a win for our captain, for O.” They failed spectacularly. If I were Ovechkin, I would be insulted by this effort.
- When a team is lagging, you’d usually expect them to control the game better and get more offense – a combination of their desperation and the other team playing conservatively. Instead, Washington played just as badly in the third period, just endless chess stunts in the only area Carolina allowed them to play in. You have to hope they just gave up, because if that’s what they look like when they’re trying, they’re rubbish.
@rmnb a belichickian gaze pic.twitter.com/ofCQGQYfuk
— Matthew Kory (@mattymatty2000) February 19, 2023
The Hurricanes simply outperformed the Capitals, but even when you factor in the huge gap in available talent, the Capitals’ performance was still lacking. Even their sound lines, unaffected by absences, were terrible. Even though your expectations were already low, the team was weaker. It was a total collective failure. It was a terrible hockey game. I am diminished for watching it. I am a sadder and smaller man than three hours ago.
The excellent Athletic reporter, Tarik El-Bashir said it “was supposed to be a big week to help general manager Brian MacLellan figure out where to go at the deadline.” The Caps have lost every game, mostly in humiliating fashion, nothing worse than tonight. There are two directions the team could go at Deadline, and the other is wrong.
Main photo: @kkmortier