Sunday's game against the Thrashers was more exciting than it should have been, what with some pretty poor Capitals' passing resulting in Atlanta goals -- most notably, Theodore's "clearing attempt" that went straight onto the stick of Slava Kozlov. Theodore says he whiffed. From 404, it certainly looked like he was staring down that empty net and thinking, "Goal," without seeing the white jerseys in front of him. Oh well, c'est la vie. It didn't tie the game and send it into overtime, at least.
One of the high points of the game was the Fleischmann goal in the first period. I wish I'd been able to get a picture of him throw his head back and mouth was looked like, "Thank God!" when the puck went in and the light went on. There was no question that it was a goal, and finally, no review.
Keith Aucoin wasn't so lucky later in the third period. He had a wide angle shot look like it went in, and then after review, was determined to have just hit the post and not actually cross the line. It was all good though, as he'd already scored on the power play earlier.
Michael Nylander broke a goal drought as well, scoring and celebrating with a fist pump in front of the net. Don Cherry's gonna be all over this team for celebrations!
Eric Fehr chipped one in that, after Theodore's miscue in the final minute, turned out to be the game winner. One of these days, Eric, they are all going in. ;)
Brooks Laich had the finishing touches to pull back to a two goal lead seconds after Kozlov's "empty netter," with an empty net goal of his own. That goal gave him back-to-back 20 goal seasons, a feat some thought was a fluke for him last year.
One thing most of these goals had in common was the crease presence. I've seen them practice this before, more than once, and once the team showed up to play in the third period, the practice paid off. It was nice to see more than just Laich mucking it up.
The team heads to the dirty souf for one last Southeast Division road trip before playoff time. Atlanta on Tuesday, Tampa on Thursday and Sunset, Florida on Saturday. Sunset... an appropriate town for the end of the season.
I'll be in Atlanta on Tuesday for that game, and might even post before I come home.