- Alright, tis the season for rookies, because tonight is also my first TSM. (thankfully only a pre-season game, eh?)
- I'm not denying that the RDS opener looks cool and all, but the statue animation of the Habs players make them look like chocolate Easter bunnies.
- Michel Therrien in his purple suit is looking sharp. Or at least a like a low-key DC comic book villain.
- Meanwhile, Barry Trotz is looking rough. If Therrien is the dapper villain, Trotz looks like his bumbling henchman who doesn't eat enough dark leafy greens. Coaching in the NHL must age you ten years in one season.
- First Habs powerplay: some mighty fancy passing in the neutral zone.
- You know it's only the first period in a preseason game because Brendan Gallagher hasn't gone full-piranha swarm on that puck yet.
- Another penalty. Calme-toi, everyone.
- First Caps powerplay. Classic Ovechkin shot from the left dot. Facing Ovie on the powerplay must be like facing down a tsunami. You know what's coming, where it's gonna come from, yet there's nothing you can do about it except ride it out.
- It's a bit embarrassing to see the Habs powerplay right before the Caps powerplay, is all I'm saying.
- Another penalty. 4 VS. 4 FOR YOU, GLEN COCO. YOU GO, GLEN COCO.
- More penalties, Jarred Tinordi looking jumpy out there. Think the competition for a spot is getting to him.
- I feel like we are running through the NHL rulebook to take all possible penalties. What's next? Puck over glass?
- Our homeboy Dave Stubbs says it best:
- Almost a breakaway, almost a goal.
- Caps penalty, score's still 0-0. How many powerplays do two teams need to score a goal? We're gonna find out, because Olesky wasn't even trying to be subtle about that hold on Bournival.
- Caps normally have great PP and Habs normally have great PK, but neither does for this game. What happens when stoppable force meets movable object?
- Gally net crash!
- Obstruction penalty by Tom Gilbert. The ref's so tired of calling penalties he needed a sec to remember which Hab is it this time. As the RDS play-by-play guy quipped: "C'est le preseason pour tout monde!"
- I'm not joking about running through the NHL rulebook on penalties anymore.This isn't a hockey game, this is a special teams training scrimmage.
- Holtby and his magnificent flow glide serenely onto the ice.
- Boarding penalty by Tom Gilbert, matched by a hooking penalty by Joel Ward. This game is getting more whistles than football.
- Price just threw the puck to centre ice. Think he's another five shots away from pulling a Patrick Roy and skating it there himself. "Damn it guys," he screams quietly. "Do I literally have to do everything around here?"
- Just to spice things up a bit, Caps are gonna...take another penalty.
- Holtby's helmet get knocked off and he loses his head (figuratively). The RDS guys are laughing, Gallagher is giving his shit-eating grin, and the cameraman is so shocked something exciting happened that he gave us the most dramatic of dramatic zooms.
- Actual hockey-wise, I'm not giving enough credit to everyone. Galchenyuk looks confident and very smooth offensively, and Tinordi is certainly repenting for his earlier penalty. Habs are using their speed to their advantage.
- Minutes after I typed that, Tinordi engages in fisticuffs against Capitals' Chris Brown. The officials quibble between themselves. Their whistles are getting a workout tonight.
- This is the fist NHL game I've watched that has more powerplay time than regular strength time. The miracle is that every defensive lapse is matched by an equal offensive goof, like Newton's Third Law of Hockey-namics.
- Eller pokes the puck away from a Cap. It's not a big moment, but he's been trying hard all night. But he needs to try harder.
- Parenteau + faceoffs = good
- Carey Price makes a big save and looks annoyed. Or elated. I don't know, I can't read that man's facial expressions.
- Parenteau needs more time to click with his linemates. A lot of split-second "oh crap, where am I going with this puck" moments with that line.
- Goal by Joel Ward. There should have been more of these, to be honest. Price can only bail everyone else out for so long.
- Habs pull the goalie. Like 6 on 5 would suddenly yield different results from 5 on 4...?
- It did, in the sense that Washington scored. End game. Washington Capitals wins 2-0.
Three Stars of EOTP
1. Anthem singing is serious business
2. Always space for Bruins-ribbing
3. The theme of tonight is...powerplays.