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Caps 4, Rangers 2

The night was supposed to belong to Alex Ovechkin. Instead, it belonged to Matt Bradley.

As I wrote in my gamer (which can be found here), Bradley was the Capitals' catalyst in a 4-2 victory over the Rangers tonight.

The fourth line winger scored the winner and suffered a pretty bad gash over his left eye in afight with Aaron Voros. But, as I mentioned in an earlier post, it was Quintin Laing's face that got the really bad beating tonight.

Laing, if you have not seen the update, suffered a broken jaw when he went down and blocked a shot with his face in the third period. For those keeping score at home, Laing has now suffered a torn spleen, contracted swine flu and sustained a broken jaw in the past in nine months. (He also walks with a permanent limp, presumably from blocking all those shots).

No word on how long Laing will be out, but a team spokesman said moments ago that it will be "weeks."

"What a courageous guy," Coach Bruce Boudreau said.

On to some other notes and quotes that didn't make the paper:

*Ovechkin was only credited with just one shot on goal in his return, which Boudreau called "good for a first game". But what a shot it was. He's now tied with Marian Gaborik for the league lead in goals with 15.

Ovechkin also made seven hits in his return from a six game absence.

His goal came on the power play and the shot was taken while he was playing the point - temporarily - in place of Brendan Morrison. Asked if the goal tempted him to put Ovechkin back on the point permanently, Boudreau cracked, "No. That shift was pretty exciting."

"He commands so much attention when he's playing up front," Boudreau added. "If you've got the ability to move him up and back, it makes it difficult for other teams to cover him."

*With a 2 for 4 night, the Caps' power play has scored at least one goal in all but four games this season. It's now up to 25.6 percent and is ranked third in the league.

*Speaking of Gaborik, he torched the Caps for two more goals. The speedy Slovak winger now has got four in two games against the Caps, and a point in 17 of 19 games this season.

*Bradley apparently has a thing for scoring big goals against the Rangers. He also sparked the Caps' rally vs. New York last spring by scoring twice in Game 5 of the teams' quarterfinal series.

*With an assist on Ovechkin's goal, Tomas Fleischmann's point streak has reached nine, tying him with Mike Green for the longest by a Capital this season.

*Boudreau said he had forgotten that he entered the night one win short of a 100. Asked what it meant to become the fourth fastest in league history to do it, he said: "Nothing. Hopefully I can stay in the league a little bit longer. And it came with two points, so that's good."

*More from Boudreau on Laing: "He does this every game. You could see from the bench that he was turning when Rozsival shot it. We were hoping it just skimmed off it. But when he got up, his jaw was pretty swollen."

*Brian Pothier clinched the win with an empty net goal. But he was almost the goat. He was in the box for high sticking in the third period when Gaborik scored his second goal to tie the game 2-2.

"After I took that penalty and Bradley scored, I jumped higher than anybody," he said. "I was happy, very happy."

That's it from me tonight. The Caps are scheduled to practice at KCI tomorrow at 11:30.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 17, 2009; 11:48 PM ET
 
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Next: Morning roundup: Bradley steals the spotlight

Comments

I find myself disliking the rags more & more.

Posted by: uncatim | November 18, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

What a tough break for Q... for the third time! Guy's a warrior though, I'm sure he'll be back and kicking butt as soon as possible! Get well soon!!

Posted by: mrszilla | November 18, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Avery must DIE!

Posted by: 555Mass | November 18, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

@uncatim

Don't like them either. They would really be insufferable if they ever acquired Sid Crosby.

My most disliked teams: Pens, Rangers, and Islanders. (And the Blue Jackets joined them on November 1 of this year.)

I even like Philthy better than any of those people.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 18, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Avery is scum.

If he isn't fined by the league for hitting Varly in the face...

Posted by: apollak8 | November 18, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Game 5 last year was in Verizon, not MSG

Posted by: nuftjedi | November 18, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Poor QL...got to be the unluckiest player in the league. Yet he still perseveres. God bless him. We need more players like him in this league.

Posted by: cbs75 | November 18, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Honestly? Why would Avery be fined for that, or have anything done for that? I'm not sure how many of you have ever played the game, but what Avery did was incredibly smart and worked to perfection. I hate the guy with everything I have, but come on, that was a hockey play designed to force a Cap to retaliate or get Varly off his game. The Rangers had little going for them and Avery was sent of to shake things up, which is what he did. If you understand hockey you know how valuable players like that can be if kept in check; their role is to get opposing players and opposing fans worked up, which in this case seemed to work to perfection.

Posted by: Aldred15 | November 18, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Sucker punching is part of hockey? Are you kidding me?

Posted by: 555Mass | November 18, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I cannot imagine how Theo has been able to play after losing his newborn son in August. Hope everything is well with him.

What's interesting is to dig on some old news links: take a read on this one. Kind of sums up things for Jose - its been a tough life, some cruel hands dealt by fate, others made by his own poor thinking!

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060622/theordore_dumped_060622/20060622

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | November 18, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik can you ask McPhee if he will send a tape of the Avery punch to the NHL?

Regardless of what Aldred115's thinks, I'm pretty sure the NHL doesn't want players going around punching goalies in the head.

And the video evidence is pretty clear. So please ask that Tarik.

Oneal

Posted by: thetick73 | November 18, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes and hope for a speedy recovery for bad luck laing.Well tonight just validated why i want to get a bradley jersey.what a workhorse.thats why i love guys like brads,stecks,and Q.there the ones that come every night and its great to see them get rewarded for it.all except for laing.He seems to get rewarded with plain bad luck.His time will come and deservingly so.Great game caps.GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: gratefuldid | November 18, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

I feel so bad for Laing. He deserves a better fate. He's a true example of what a real hockey player is.

Posted by: cbs75 | November 18, 2009 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Cheap shots to the head are NOT part of the game. Cheap shots to the head are just cheap shots to the head. And cheap shots to the goalie's head are clearly in violation of every version of the rules of hockey sportsmanship that anyone other than Avery subscribes to.

I have noticed that where a defender contacts Avery anywhere in the vicinity of the defender's goalie, he likes to hit the goalie, often making at least a halfhearted attempt to make it appear as though the contact from the defender caused it. It's hard for me to believe what went on tonight wasn't penalized though. Erskine had barely touched him, and he seemed to be trying to use that as the excuse to punch Varly in the head. And it actually worked, I guess, because I thought the ref was looking directly at it but didn't call a penalty.

Avery shouldn't be suspended for a long time because of this particular incident. He didn't hit Varly very hard or anything. Varly will live. Avery should be suspended for a long time because of this incident combined with countless others like it before this.

But it's probably not going to happen because the players' union will probably throw a hissy fit if it does.

The only solution is for players to take it into their own hands and hurt him, seriously, so that he stays out for a while. I very much hope, as soon as the Caps and Rangers get into a situation where one is blowing out the other, and Avery's on the ice, that he gets at least 1% of the cheap shots he has coming to him. Avery has gone way past the stage where the appropriate sanction is merely to force him into a fight. The appropriate sanction is to hurt him.

Yes, it turned out well for Avery this time. Sometimes he gets bad calls against him merely because of his past and his well-deserved reputation, so maybe it evens up. But maybe it doesn't. Just to make sure, I'd like someone, anyone, to send him to an early retirement.

Posted by: youaresquishy | November 18, 2009 2:34 AM | Report abuse

It's nothing new.

Here's a good video of what he did to Tim Thomas last year.

http://sportsbybrooks.com/back-to-old-tricks-avery-clocks-thomas-head-23185

I watched this game, I hate Boston, and for some reason I had the same reaction to this play that I had to the one last night. I want Avery to stop playing, by any means necessary.

I love the comments at the bottom of this website too.

Posted by: youaresquishy | November 18, 2009 2:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how many of you have ever played the game, but what Avery did was incredibly smart and worked to perfection. I hate the guy with everything I have, but come on, that was a hockey play...

Posted by: Aldred15 | November 18, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse


@ Allred15

I am not sure if you have ever played hockey or any other team sport. If that is your idea of a "hockey play" you do not understand the sport. Cheap shots like Avery's, similar to what we have seen recently like eye-gouging (football) or hair pulling (soccer), are outside the rules of different sports. Just because they go undetected does not make them a legitimate "play". That was really one of the dumbest comments I have seen here in a long time.

Avery is held in low regard by teammates, coaches, and opponents, because he is a jackass in what he says and how he plays the game. I find it rather absurd that someone would try to defend one of his cheapshots. Suspension is neither deserved nor forthcoming, but Avery probably lost just a little more respect by his peers and fans of the sport.

That was not a "hockey play". That was a jackass living up to the low standards that he has established for himself.

Posted by: crooks_c | November 18, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Why wouldnt Avery get a suspension? I thought they were looking at past history here, and we have numerous cases of him taking shots at goalies...

I give him 2 games...he is a bum...

It might of been mentioned, but when he got clocked by Erskine earier, no one came to help him.

Posted by: SA-Town | November 18, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: elganja | November 18, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

and no, it's not mine... i hate avery with a passion... i hope someone does take him out and give him what he deserves

Posted by: elganja | November 18, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/columnist/bourne/2009-11-16-player-protection_N.htm

interesting theory on injuries with a Brashear reference.

Posted by: lornemyoung | November 18, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Here's from the dan Steinberg bog:

"Let's trademark this thing right now: the Matt Bradley hat trick," Japers Rink wrote. "That's a goal on Henrik Lundqvist, a fight, and a busted-open face. After all, anyone that awesome deserves his own hat trick."

Hey, I dubbed it a Matt Bradley hat trick on the blog here, right after the game last night: "A goal, a fight and some stiches."

If there's a trademark to be issued, it gets issued in Florida.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 18, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Aldred15 = TROLL

Posted by: washingtoncapitals | November 18, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

get well soon, laing!! :)

kudos to professor bradley too!

Posted by: spinner-33 | November 18, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

This bunch personifies the word Team.
The best squad in town.
As always,Let's Go Caps!

Posted by: ridgely1 | November 18, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Call me spoiled, but I loved watching last night in HD after a few CSN+ games.

I see Saturdays game is on CSN+ locally, but also being carried on NHL Network in HD.

Should we expect the NHLNW blackout, and be forced to watch LowD on CSN+?

Posted by: SA-Town | November 18, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Avery sure has a thing for goalies--does he like to be called the "pest"--I can't see our guys ever aspiring to that demeaning kind of moniker.

Avery's like that annoying fly that gets into your face--but players have to be careful when they swat him because he looks up everytime with his "who me" face of bogus innocence. Surely refs are smarter than that. Erskine does get under his skin though. I get a laugh when our players get under Avery's skin and make him lose his cool.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 18, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Folks, just in time for the holidays I will be selling Quentin laing "operation" games. Use your tweezers to tray and pull out his spleen, jaw bone, teeth, etc all while trying not to catch the swine flu. If you touch the edges, Matt Bradley will punch you intheface and bleed on your carpet.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 18, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75: I almost agree with you all the way on the teams I dislike---except whenever I see Mike Richards play, I really dislike Philly too. They're looking strong, though, played a good game against the Devils the other night. It's going to be an interesting season.

Semin is injured and didn't play last night. I hope he gets the R&R he needs before coming back. Same with Laing, poor guy. What a hero. So great to see Ovi score coming back from his injury. Great work as always from Laich, but I gotta admit to being happiest about Matt Bradley galvanizing the team. (Head wounds near the eye bleed like crazy, don't they?) All in all, I thought the Caps' D was fantastic. That first goal by Gaborik was from the craziest angle---can't fault Varley on that one.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 18, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Can't say enough about Bradley - plays with Heart & Soul. Good win last night.

Go CAPS!!!

Posted by: noreaster1 | November 18, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Bradley took it for the team & gave the biggest #1 sign to Voros & Avery & the Rags last night.
Even Brash must have smiled.

btw- why do the the Rangers need so many tough guys with no skills on their team?

Posted by: Rocc00 | November 18, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I looked up "man" in the dictionary ...

Mr. Laing's picture was there.

Posted by: Cerealman | November 18, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Dear VC staff,

Please make sure all glass panels are VERY secure for Friday night's game.

Regards,
#8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4_MKH1ldHI

Posted by: Fro_ | November 18, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Cerealman: I saw it. And Bradley was next to him.

SA-Town: Thanks for info on Sat night. I am very happy when Versus or NHL Network since I get them in 58 glorious inches of HD. (Center Ice comes through in very poor quality low def, and my cable doesn't give us the Center Ice HD games.)

Game is at Toronto. We will probably get the NHIC broadcast with Don Cherry at intermission. I wonder which one of Liberace's leftover outfits he'll be sporting.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 18, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

dccitizen1: I want to buy that Q Laing operation game.

"Tweezers and Matt Bradley's blood sold separately."

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 18, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

I am worried that NHIC HD feed will be blacked out locally, and we will be watching a dull, grainy CSN+

Posted by: SA-Town | November 18, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I'll buy the QL Operation game. Excellent!

With all the talk around hockey circles (including GMs) about hits to the head, how does the intentional one from Avery not deserve a game or two suspension, escpecially considering he is a repeat offender? Step up Campbell do the right thing.

If the Caps play like they did last night on Friday we'll be eating free wings on Saturday. Great effort.

It's a shame that Pothier is called "almost the goat" due to the penalty he took on a PP the rags shouldn't have had in the first place. Overall he played a strong game, moved the puck well and played very solid positional d, yet everyone talks about his 1 mistake.

Posted by: ds_kelly | November 18, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Aldred15: "...I'm not sure how many of you have ever played the game, but what Avery did was incredibly smart and worked to perfection..."

I have played the game and still do. It was a ticky-tacky, cheap, dirty play. Just because that kind of stuff happens in everything from beer leagues to the NHL doesn't make it right. Just because it worked doesn't make it good sportsmanship.

It doesn't make any difference what league you're in there will be dirty players that try to get away with stuff. So, you raise a valid point. However, condoning that type of behavior will draw the ire of the fans.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | November 18, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Wishing a speedy recovery to QL53. What a worker that kid is. And THAT'S THE WAY TO SHOW THOSE RAGS, BRADS! What a great team we have.

I have a personal rule against allowing myself to wish the other team to get injured. In the case of Sean Avery, I am forced to suspend that and hope for him to be permanently wounded. Preferably with much pain involved. That guy fits right in with Torts, though, doesn't he?

Posted by: member8 | November 18, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I actually have to somewhat agree with Alfred on the Avery play. It certainly wasn't a "cheap shot" as I would define it, he barely grazed Varly's head...that's the point, do something not worthy of a penalty but enough to get the other team take a stupid retaliatory penalty. That's Avery MO and after playing him and the rags all of last year and in the playoffs, the Caps can't be suckered into retaliating against him.

If you want to get back at him, hip check him through the glass...or just win the game.

I think someone else posted that what Avery did is in the same class as eye-gouging or hair-pulling and it wasn't sportsmanlike. Come on now, we're talking about hockey right now. Watch what goes on in the scrums in the corners. The players punch eachother in the head alot harder than what Avery did.

I hate Avery as much as the next person and we would all agree that he is a POS but lets call it like it is and not exagerate the situation.

Posted by: Moose33 | November 18, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@moose33--Yeah it's the ugly side of the game--cheap shots--especially on a goalie. And if the refs saw it they would have called a penalty on Avery. But whether a smart or dumb or just annoying play by Avery, it's good that another Caps player stood up for our goalie. Opposing teams should never get the idea that they can mess with our goalie whatever the situation. And let's be frank, Avery is particularly pest-like to goalies. He loves to punch them in the head and then dive when another player calls him on it. Refs are aware of his playacting but they do have to see it first. They can't just assume. Erskine gets under Avery's skin too--I still remember with glee how he got right in Avery's face in one of the games in last season's playoff series and drew the penalty from Avery. Stuff goes both ways.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 18, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

@Tominfl1: I wish I could take credit for the "Operation" game for Laing, but it was dcsportsfan, not me. I would add, though, that the heart of Quentin Laing would be impossible to remove in the game, just like in real life.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | November 18, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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