Sunday, April 12, 2009

Caps Top 10 Games of 2008-2009, Part I

(Due to the heavy use of YouTube, we've split this feature in two; the second half will run Monday night.)

The regular season is over, and now the Caps have a few days to recover and refocus as the chase for Lord Stanley's Cup begins. It's time for us as fans to reflect on our favorite games, favorite moments and heroic efforts that made this 82-game campaign feel like it only started yesterday.

Join us as we count down the top 10 Caps games of the season, and feel free to comment on your favorites below.

10. Nov. 10, 2008 - Capitals vs. Lightning - 4-2
The Washington Capitals met up with former goalie Olie Kolzig for the first and possibly last time as opponents. Donning black and blue instead of red and white, Olie admitted to being nervous before his first game against his former team.

In the first period, Tom Poti and Mike Green blistered shots past their former teammate. Eric Fehr added another goal in the first, and Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal since the Caps home opener.

During the first period, a tribute to Olie ran and proclaimed him "always a Capital." Even though Olie was a Bolt, the fans and players treated him like a Cap.

While it wasn't Olie's best game, the Tampa Bay Lightning did little to help their goalie, who was barraged by the Caps in this emotional game.

9. Nov. 12, 2008 - Capitals vs. Hurricanes - 5-1
After the shellacking of Olie Kolzig and the Bolts, much of the media's focus was on the Capitals star Russian winger, Alexander Semin.

While Alex Ovechkin was slumping, Alex Semin carried the Capitals offense on his back, and on Nov. 12 both Russians turned in one of their best performances of the year with Nicklas Backstrom centering the duo.

The S.O.B. line was born, and Caps fans were treated to some of the cutest and most beautiful looking hockey they'd ever seen. It was like when your three favorite superheroes team up to kick ass. It was that awesome.

This statement game saw Alex Ovechkin strike first, officially breaking his slump (one game is not a trend), and the S.O.B's combined for 12 total points. The three stars of the game? 1: Alex Semin, 2. Alex Ovechkin, 3. Nicklas Backstrom.

The Capitals marched all over the Canes, and the Southeast Division could only look up in awe of their ruthless rulers.

8. Feb. 14, 2009 - Capitals vs. Lightning - 5-1
In front of his father, Mike Green etched his name into the history books with his eighth consecutive goal, a league high for defensemen. Green's goal was assisted by Alex Semin in the second period, but it wasn't the only milestone the team earned that night.

Michal Neuvirth earned his nickname, the Czech Cobra, as he robbed Vincent Lecavalier on a breakaway and earned his first win in his first career start. Neuvirth was the second rookie goaltender on the Capitals to earn a win this season and became an instant Facebook celebrity after the game.

The Capitals continued their dominance over the Bolts, but it was Green's milestone that will make this game stand out as one of the best.

#7. Jan 6, 2009 - Capitals vs. Flyers - 2-1 SO Win
The previous meeting between the Capitals and Flyers saw the boys in red get bombarded in a 7-1 loss. It was a humiliating loss, and it only opened the playoff wounds from last April wider.

So when their second meeting of the season rolled around, many thought it would be a wild, high-scoring affair with enough rough stuff to spark the "I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out" joke. Only that's not what happened.

Nicklas Backstrom opened the scoring in the first period, and then the Capitals never struck again. The team played solid defense, holding the Flyers onslaught back, which eventually lead to a wild overtime. That overtime turned to a shootout, and then something strange happened.

After the zambonis left the ice, Philadelphia Flyers goalie Martin Biron threw a fit over the quality of the ice in front of his net. The zamboni was dragged back onto the ice to a hail of boos, and the drama meter was kicked up a notch.

The re-resurfacing of the ice didn't help the Flyers, though, a Viktor Kozlov beat Biron and Theodore shut the door on the Flyers. Epic.

Oct. 16, 2008 - Capitals vs. Penguins - 4-3
It started like a typical Caps and Penguins game. The Capitals went down by three, Alex Ovechkin was frustrated, and then Penguins were getting any and every break that was available.

When Tomas Fleischmann put a goal past Marc-Andre Fleury in the second, it just seemed like one goal to make the game look like less of a blowout. In the third period, the Capitals rallied back with three goals courtesy of Alex Semin, Michael Nylander and Boyd Gordon.

The Gordon goal dejected the Penguins faithful. As Gordon entered the offensive zone, he fired a wrist shot past Fleury that left the net as quick as it came in. The goal-scoring judges didn't even see it in the net. The Capitals began to celebrate, while the Penguins held their breath in hopes that it wouldn't be reviewed.

The goal was reviewed, and the Capitals completed an unlikely comeback without the help of Alex Ovechkin on the score sheet.

The Capitals marched out of Pittsburgh with an improbable win, but the game also started the Ovechkin vs. Malkin feud as Ovie spent most of the game squashing his fellow Russian into the glass boards.

Malkin's reply? "Ovechkin is a great player, but every time he hits me - I don't know why."

Maybe it's because you had the puck.


  1. The Capitals are awesome this year and the Rangers are going to hate the fact that they did not stay in 8th place. I say the Caps take them in 5 games.

  2. This is a really great top ten list. I think th Caps will sweep, and have an excellent chance at going all the way and taking the Stanley Cup. You can post this to our site and then link back to your site. We are looking for top ten lists and our users can track back to your site. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.


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