Tuesday, January 26, 2010
By Joe Beninati
The first period was gold for the Capitals tonight, all except for one injury incident concerning their netminder. Jose Theodore was thebeneficiary of the four goal explosion of the opening frame, but he was not around to see the finish of a 7-2 win.
Theodore suffered an injury in the opening period which nagged him throughout the second. Rather than risk it any further, the Caps kept Jose in the locker room for the third period.This team is in attack mode right know. They came out in the opening 20 minutes and went to a level the Islanders could not match. Alex Semin was the best player on the ice in the first half of the hockey game. Not only did he display his awesome array of skills, but he hustled on the back check, made the smart plays in the neutral zone, and was an all around stud.
John Erskine was extremely physical in the opening 30 minutes of this game. We always recognize Erskine for his ability to crunch people along the boards. Tonight he was moving very well, skating hard to open space, and being a much more lively threat on offense than normal.Almost everyone joined in the scoring party against the Isles. New York goalies Rick DiPietro and Dwayne Roloson had little chance in this game. The Caps were flying through the neutral zone at top speed, giving the Islander defenders one headache after another.
But there was no laughing matter back in the opening period. Isles blueliner Jack Hillen was smacked in the face with an Alex Ovechkin slap shot. The puck was rolling when Ovie blasted it, so it rose very quickly and Hillen had no way to avoid the damage. He was taken to a nearby hospital and we all hope for the best for him.Michal Neuvirth came off the bench and looked sharp in the third period in goal. You'd have to assume he'll get the starting job against the Ducks Wednesday at Verizon. By then we should know more about the health of Theodore. For now the hits keep coming as the D.C. win streak had grown to an impressive seven straight.