If Ted Leonsis ends up with any complaints in his inbox after the Caps 7-2 home opener win over the Devils, I respectfully ask that he forward those along to me. D.J. King and I can respond to them together.
That game had pretty much everything a Caps fan could hope for. Sure, you can pick it apart and find a few little things to complain about, but why bother; there was just too much to enjoy.
The Caps gave us seven goals, including one on a penalty shot, and didn’t back down when the Devils decided to goon it up late in the game. I think the moment I was sold on this being simply a fantastic opening night was when, with the Caps already in control at 7-2 and the crowd feeling good, Mike Green and Ilya Kovalchuk dropped the gloves. A two-time Norris finalist and one of the games most prolific goal scorers squaring off? I didn’t see that one coming.
And before all that, there was John Carlson scoring the Caps’ first goal before later picking up two assists, a sweet pass from Tomas Fleischmann to set up a goal by Jason Chimera whose shot placement was equally impressive, and a short handed goal by Brooks Laich after he intercepted a zone clearing attempt by goalie Johan Hedberg. Michal Neuvirth rather quietly held the Devils to two goals and Eric Fehr added a power play tally from down low for the Caps.
The Caps also managed to chase starting goaltender and four-time Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur, delivered free wings for the fans when they hit the five goal mark and showed us they can still change a scoreboard quickly, like they did so many times last season. The new red steps in VC look great too.
We’re a long way from April and I don’t put too much into any one game, much like I don’t let too much ride on any one season during what I see as a long window of opportunity for this team. But it felt good to be back in Verizon Center in the midst of one of those great nights this team so often provides us with, and that you just have to get caught up in and enjoy.
Oh and a guy named Ovechkin scored a couple of the Caps goals too. Now we just wait and make sure John Feinstein was ok with the way the Caps raised their banners this year.