Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Goals Galore

"Today, everything just went to the net,"—Washington Capital’s Alexander Ovechkin explaining the Capitals prolific scoring ways on Monday night.

Monday provided a bounty of goals for those that like some offence in their hockey.

From a fifty goal and more scorer who helped propel his team to a 10 goal exhibition of skill, to some fire wagon hockey as once practiced by the legends of the game, and a Stanley Cup rematch to finish things off, Monday night had a little bit of something for everyone.

The tour de offence began in Washington, where Alexander Ovechkin returned to scoring form, with a three goal performance and a five point night, leading his Capitals to a 10-2 humiliation of the Boston Bruins. Ovechkin had been held off the goal for seven games prior to last Saturday night when he picked up one goal, Monday he made up for lost time, netting three and having a fourth taken away and awarded to a different Capital.

The Bruins seemed shell shocked as the Washington wave came at them time and time again, losing for the first time in six games bringing them back to sense of reality after a remarkable winning streak.

Ovechkin picked up goal number 52 by the time his scoring splurge had finished the first player to reach 50 goals this season and continued to earn him raves for his speed and playmaking ability, not to mention that touch he seems to have around the net. Newcomer Cristobal Huet was credited with the win, though he was pulled out of the game in the third period suffering from back spasms.

National Post--Ovechkin's five points crush Bruins

Once the scoring was done in Washington, we turned our attention over to the West coast where two of the East’s top teams are on a western swing.

Montreal took on the San Jose Sharks in a game that saw the action flow from end to end and each team taking a turn scoring before the Sharks finally put the game away for good. The rejuvenated Sharks picked up their sixth straight win with the 6-4 victory on Monday night, the Montreal loss marking Carey Price’s first defeat since being given the starting role for the Canadiens after the Cristobal Huet trade.

The Habs and Sharks were tied three separate times before the Sharks took the lead, with both teams showing more of an inclination towards offence than in providing any form of defensive cover in their respective ends.

San Jose who have finally begun to show some signs of life in the West, there big scorers found the net and newcomer Brian Campbell made his contribution with the final goal as the Sharks finally seem to have found the recipe to move up the standings in the West.

Montreal, who only this weekend claimed first place in the East, showed that no lead is beyond capture and had they provided a bit of defensive help for their goaltender, they could have made their first visit in a couple of years to San Jose a winning start to their western swing.

National Post--Price rocked in loss to Sharks

Their fellow travelers from the east also didn’t come up on the winning side a few hundred miles to the south, as the Ottawa Senators suffered the same fate that they experienced back in May of 2007 as the Anaheim Ducks provided their former coach and GM with yet another loss, a continuing theme of frustration for the formerly high flying Senators.

Anaheim played their traditional physical game, taking control of the corners, winning the battles in front of the net and finding timely goals to help push their winning streak on to six consecutive games.

Much like last years playoffs provided, the Ducks were quick to get out to a lead and Ottawa just never seemed able to recover and claw their way back. Anaheim had a quick two goal lead before wrapping up the night with the three to one victory. It will be the only regular season meeting of the year for last years Stanley Cup finalists, and while many suggest that the Ducks may very well have a good chance to repeat as Western champs, not as many are on the Sens bandwagon anymore after their horrendous slide of January and February.

National Post--Ducks win Stanley Cup rematch

By the time the final whistle blew on the night, six teams had combined for 26 goals, almost half of them scored in the District of Columbia. A town that is used to landslide victories and taking the offense over defence whenever the opportunity arises.
Photo from the National Post website

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