Washington Craps Out At Home
Current tunes: All Quiet On The Potomac - Jacqueline Schwab
It hasn’t rained in Washington, D.C. in over a week, but the banks of the Potomac River are nearing flood stage. Flooded with the tears of the 11,000 whining fans that watched their beloved Capitals turn a 2-0 lead into a 4-2 loss Wednesday night at whatever they are calling the MCI Arena these days. It’s not surprising that the Thrashers beat them, running their record to 4-0-0 against their SE Division rival this year, but how they beat them. Everyone in the league knows the names Kovalchuck, Kozlov, and Hossa; everyone in the Cap Centre on a historic Wednesday night learned the names of Shane Hnidy and former Portland Pirate (and sometimes Washington Capital) Glen Metropolit.
No, that’s not a typo. When I say it was a historic night in DC, I’m not referring to the 300th goal of Bobby Holik’s career. Capital fans were treated to a Halley’s Comet like occurrence when Thrasher defenseman Shane Hnidy, who can best be described as ‘number 34‘, got the Thrashers on the board by scoring the 5th goal of his career and his first since the 2001-02 season. Fans aren’t likely to catch a glimpse of Hnidy putting the puck in the net again until 2011. The goal has also caused online sales of Hnidy memorabilia to skyrocket in preparation for the holiday season.
Later in that same period, following Holik’s goal which tied the game at 2-2; Glen Metropolit ripped a slap shot that missed by a mile and went sailing over the head of Crap net minder Olie Kolzig. The puck bounced off of the glass behind the net and Metropolit was able to tap it out of the air and past the shell shocked Heinee. The highlight reel goal brought his goals-per-game average up to a mind-numbing 0.07. It was the 14th of Metro’s career and with that he joins the likes of Jamie Pushor on the NHL’s All-Time Goals list.
Things got a bit ugly in the 3rd period after Ilya Kovalchuck put the game away. Caps coach Glen Hanlon has done a great job maintaining the status quo in Washington since replacing Bruce Cassidy. Wednesday he turned the game into an on ice production of “Slap Shot” according to this Washington Capitals fan blog, by “sending a cheap-shot artist out there to run players in the dying minutes of a game that has been all but decided“. The fan was talking about Hartley, but if you watch the tape you see that’s exactly what Hanlon did--taking advantage of the home team having the last change, Coach Howdy Doody sent out Donald Brashear and John Erskine to face off against a Thrasher line that included Greg DeVries and Marian Hossa. Caps fans can cry all they want and accuse the Thrashsers of hooliganism, but save some of those tears for when you review the standings, mmmkay?