Former Washington Capital Eric Fehr returned to Verizon Center last night as a visitor for the first time with the Winnipeg Jets as they made their first visit to Washington since moving out of Atlanta last summer. The game had just about everything you could ask for except an Ovechtrick…or even a single goal by Alex Ovechkin. At least we got a goal from Alexander Semin after being a healthy scratch on Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes. There was plenty of hitting, a fair amount of scoring, some amazing penalty killing by two and half penalty killers. Oh, and a return of Rally Balloon.
The coolest thing was hearing what I think was the 7 Seconds cover of Nena’s 99 Red Balloons after the Caps won. Pop punk, Captain Kirk and a Caps win…what a combo!
The most interesting thing I left Verizon with was the thought that Ovechkin has met his physical match in Dustin Byfuglien. Byfuglien knocked Ovechkin down two or three times and Ovechkin bounced off Byfuglien a few more times. Ovechkin falls down a lot, but the other guy does, too, nearly every time. Byfuglien barely budged. Another step in the wrong direction in the evolution of Alex Ovechkin? Let’s hope not. Let’s hope there is more of the kind of play he was demonstrating all night…the kind that led to the first “OH-vie! OH-vie!” chants of the year and that it comes with more goals.
Anyway, you know where to go to read thoughtful thoughts on the game like Japer’s Rink, Russian Machine Never Breaks, District Sports Page, Capitals Outsider, and Ed Frankovic’s blog. Check out my photos below or on flickr.