For the Washington Capitals, tonight’s game must have been like a flashback of sorts. A team that has looked out of sorts lately, the Capitals had a more “normal” game in which they scored a lot and employed a heavy forecheck.
Alex Ovechkin was his normal self with two early goals. Mike Green chipped in two as well, including the overtime winner. Only Troy Brouwer‘s goal was a clue that this was not the 2008-09 Capitals.
It had been a while for them, as they seemed to be in a funk of sorts. When they convincingly beat the Montreal Canadiens, some observers believed that they were back on track to the success which they had once achieved. It takes more than one game for people to get back on board, however. Tonight’s 5-4 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres may have been that type of victory.
I think that this team is finally starting to be ready to return to its high-flying ways in a Jekyll-and-Hide type season for the Capitals, who had stretches where they looked very solid, and stretches where they looked awful. The difference may well be the presence of Ovechkin, who provides leadership that goes beyond the scoresheet.
Besides Sidney Crosby and John Tavares perhaps no player’s presence/absence in a given game makes as much of a difference in the whole league besides “The Great Eight.” However, it was Green who reminded me most of the years that came before.
If Green could produce something in the neighborhood of fifty points (say 20 goals and 30 assists), it would be a huge boost for the Caps. With 30 points so far, it is a realistic goal that could be achieved this season.
Green and Ovechkin helped the Capitals re-establish themselves tonight and send a message to other teams that they are not ready to give up on the postseason yet.