Now that was how the game of hockey is designed to be played! Two very good hockey teams that played one hell of an exciting game, it might even have been the best game I have ever seen in October.
Since the game was on Versus and many of you missed the game, here are some notes that I saw tonight. Matt Carle is playing with confidence, knowing he has Pronger with him and he is playing like he did 2 years ago with San Jose. Mike Richards IS the captain and should be the captain of Team Canada. He is the best leader in the game. He outplayed Ovechkin tonight, and he is not in AO’s league when it comes to talent. Richards performs because he wants to win so badly! Briere, Hartnell, and Carter looked really good tonight. They had lots of chances and Danny buried one in OT for the winner. You have to give the Capitals coaching staff credit; they did everything they could to get AO on the ice away from Pronger/Carle and Timonen/Coburn. They pulled it off brilliantly in the 2nd period with the long change. The Flyers powerplay is starting in very good shape again. Even with all the new defense pairs, they are creating chances and Richards is proving that he can score down low on the man advantage as well. Ray Emery had some tough bounces tonight, but was still at his best in the 3rd period and overtime when the Caps had the powerplay.
JVR looked like he got dinged up and played very sparingly after that big hit. It also looked bad when Betts left the ice at the end of the 3rd period. Hopefully both are ok to go in the next few days.
You can see that there are a few top teams in the Eastern Conference at this early stage. Pittsburgh, Washington, Boston, and Philadelphia look to be head and shoulders better than the other teams in the east. Now this is when all teams are healthy, we will see who responds to injuries and travel. I can’t wait to see the next Flyers game against the Penguins. Philly has some debts to collect and I hope #20 makes a mess out of #87 and physically pounds him in a 100% legal fashion! 87 gets too much respect and room in the NHL and I hope Pronger says “Hi” many times!