I missed the Olympic Men’s Hockey Gold Medal Game. Oh sure, I was watching the scoreboard, but I didn’t get to see the game. Apparently, I was one of the few who didn’t see it, as it drew in record numbers in ratings. I was on the road, and startled my wife when the US tied the game when I broke my silent vigil to shout “oh my God; they tied it!”
I knew this game was big, but when I got a call shortly after Team USA tied the game from someone who never watches hockey to ask me “did you see that?!” I knew it was a good game.
It’s a rare thing when the losing goaltender is named MVP, but Ryan Miller certainly earned it, and when he returns to Buffalo Wednesday night, I expect his home crowd is going to salute him appropriately.
For the Caps, it’s back to business. After going into the Olympic break on a three game losing skid, the Caps would like to right the ship. It’s never easy for the Caps, and their matchup in Buffalo on Wednesday pits the highest scoring team in the league versus arguably the best goaltender in the world (at least as noted in these most recent Winter Olympics).
The last time Washington squared off against Buffalo was just before Christmas in a 5-2 win at Verizon Center. Earlier that month, Buffalo shut-out Washington in a 2-0 game in Buffalo.
On the heels of that matchup, the Caps will return to DC Thursday night where the Tampa Bay Lightning will be waiting. The last time Washington faced Tampa it was a 3-2 decision for the Caps as part of their 14-game winning streak. Many Caps fans will remember the 7-4 loss in Tampa that sparked that winning streak in early January.
The Caps round out their week with a matchup Saturday versus the Rangers. The Caps last game versus the Rangers ended in a 6-5 decision for Washington in early February; also part of that winning streak. Washington is 2-1-0 versus New York this year, and that one loss came way back in October in a 4-3 loss at Verizon Center.
The Caps hit the ice yesterday with their full team back on the ice. They have 20 more games to play over the course of 40 nights. I don’t expect any big trades before the deadline, but you never know with George McPhee; the man has pulled rabbits out of hats before.
It’s good to be back, I’ll be sporting my Brooks Laich jersey tomorrow!