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Matt Bradley's bloody night, in pictures



You won't see a better night by a so-called role player in D.C. sports this year. It's just impossible. Let's recap.

First, with his team down, 1-0, Bradley starts punching Rangers tough guy Aaron Voros in the head. And vice versa, obviously.


Bradley is giving up an inch and 14 pounds to Voros, but the fight seems pretty much even. The two men's contributions to this game, though, are not. Voros will log twice as many penalty minutes as minutes on the ice, and the rest of his stat line looks fairly empty. Bradley? Not so much.

But more on that later. Before we get to that, you'll notice that Bradley seems to have sprung a leak.





"You see this? I do this for fun on weekends. Like, I might just scrape my face along a bed of rusty, poison-soaked razor-tipped nails, then douse my face in bleach and draw bloody bleachy designs in my raw, oozing skin with a steak knife. Helps me wake up in the morning. No big deal."





The above quote was actually a fake. This one isn't.

"It was no big deal. I regularly bleed, so it is nothing new," Bradley said, according to The Wash Times. "It seems like my skin is pretty paper-ish, so a few stitches and no big deal."





Actually, that looks like a lot of blood. Maybe you should take a breather for a couple minutes. Btw, Puck Daddy suggests Bradley was asking the linesman whether the blood covering his face was, in fact, his own.





And while you're resting, a few words from your teammates.

"He played great today," Alex Ovechkin said. "He had big fight. And after his fight our team wake up and play our game."

"He gets it all started," Brooks Laich said, also via The Times. "We have tremendous respect for what he does and he's one of the most-liked guys on this hockey team. He goes out there and fights a guy that is bigger than him and takes punches for the team."

"Bradley was our MVP of the night," Brian Pothier said. "His fight changed the momentum of the game....Every time he had the puck he was doing something with it. And when he didn't have it, he was hitting someone. He was great tonight."





And now that you're done looking at bloody pictures, consider this. In the third period, with his face stitched up, in a tie game, Bradley will come up with the puck in his own zone, go nearly the length of the ice and beat one of the best goalies in the world in one of the most famous arenas in the world. And then he'll use the word "luck" three times in his brief description of the sequence.

"I just kind of hit it forward and luckily it went through," he said after the game. "Once that happened, I really only had one place to shoot and that was up high, and I luckily got it up there. It was a very lucky shot."

Yeah man. I mean, it's a wonder you can even stand up on the ice without collapsing in a talentless heap. I mean, there's humble, and then there's that quote.





Then again, here's how Ovechkin described it.

"Crazy goal, I think," he said.

"That's what he's got, he's got oodles of character," is how Bruce Boudreau put it.

And to summarize?

"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."

(Professional images, in order, by Mike Segar-Reuters, Bruce Bennett-Getty, Frank Franklin II-AP, and Bruce Bennett-Getty.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 18, 2009; 12:25 AM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

last time i checked the redskins dont play on ice...what gives?

Posted by: formerlylove1 | November 18, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Hilarious. Bradley to the linesman: "Am I cut?" Sorta, man. Sorta ya got a cut.

Posted by: false_cause | November 18, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

The only possible thing that could have made this performance better is if he'd been punching Sean Avery in the face.

Posted by: ThisGuy | November 18, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Matt Bradley's incredible effort is why I LOVE this team!!! This team is the pride of our local teams and a model organization. I am extremely proud to call myself a fan.

LET'S GO CAPS!!!!!

Posted by: regis429 | November 18, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

What a game for Bradley. What a team guy. Capitals are a class organization top to bottom.

Posted by: hessone | November 18, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what time Japers "trademarked" the "Matt Bradley Hat Trick," but I called it that on Tarik's blog right after the game.

As they say, you can look it up.

I also wish to register trademark for "Bradley Fighting Vehicle," since I posted that too.

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

How 'bout:

A "Matt Bradley Hat Trick?"

A goal, a fight and some stitches.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 17, 2009 10:54 PM

I looked it up.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 18, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

2 Caps dedicated posts from the Bog in 12 hours? In November? This is either a pleasant surprise or the Mayans were wrong about 2012.

Posted by: Section117 | November 18, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Sports Bog talking about hockey, finally!

Posted by: Bagher | November 18, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

The Reskins should have such heart,desire and toughness. Instead of showboating,whining and being a joke.I love the Caps.

Posted by: ridgely1 | November 18, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

"First, with his team down, 1-0, Bradley starts punching Rangers tough guy Aaron Voros in the head."

Caps were never down 1-0. Ovi scored the first goal of the game.

Posted by: JeffNYC | November 18, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

"First, with his team down, 1-0, Bradley starts punching Rangers tough guy Aaron Voros in the head."

Caps were never down 1-0. Ovi scored the first goal of the game.

Posted by: JeffNYC | November 18, 2009 8:12 AM

No he didn't, they were down. Avery is gonna get his head ripped off one of these days, and its going to be glorious.

Posted by: sjtorre | November 18, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm a bit relieved to learn that injury has played a part in Semin's recent inconsistency. Now that Ovie's back, the other Alex can take a rest and get healthy, then come back and pad his stats so we can shop him for a solid d-man.

How can you NOT love this team? How exciting for all of us Caps fans who paid our dues in the 90's? Bandwagoners welcome aboard!

Posted by: Tom703 | November 18, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

So it's not quite the Gordie Howe Hat Trick aka a goal, a assist and a fight?

Now this is why we love hockey.

Posted by: EricS2 | November 18, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"Caps were never down 1-0. Ovi scored the first goal of the game."

Huh? Gaborik scored for NY a minute and a half into the game....

Great, great road win for the Caps against a punk Rangers team. That whole team is Gaborik, Lundqvist and a bunch of stiffs.

Posted by: southside721 | November 18, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

How can you NOT love this team? How exciting for all of us Caps fans who paid our dues in the 90's? Bandwagoners welcome aboard!

Posted by: Tom703

New fans here but not bandwagons or fairweather. It is a great time to be into hockey in this town--from the Mites to the Caps. We're hockey lifers.

Posted by: newbiecapsfan07 | November 18, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Interesting note about Gordie Howe Hat Tricks, the active leader, Brendan Shanahan, (officially) retired yesterday -- he had 17 for his career.

Gordie Howe only ever had two, for the record.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | November 18, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

LOL: The only possible thing that could have made this performance better is if he'd been punching Sean Avery in the face.

Amen, brother.

I got home late from work last night so I caught Period 3. Hubby filled me in on the fight, so he wasn't kidding about the "bloody" part.

We're looking forward to our next game on 11/25 - GO CAPS!

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | November 18, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Bradley shouldn't have to fight the other team's tough guys. Mcphee is a fool for not having an enforcer to perform that role.

Posted by: poguesmahone | November 18, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

That's an interesting stat Howdy.

It shouldn't be too long now before someone posts about how fighting has nothing to do with sport and is a black eye (couldn't resist) on the face of hockey.

Posted by: Tom703 | November 18, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I guess I qualify as one who has paid his dues with the Caps. I went to the first home game played by the Caps at The Capital Center against the defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens. We suffered through a season where the Caps set a record for the fewest wins. There were Guaranteed Win Nights wherein if the team lost, the fans were given a ticket to another game.
The team has been very good before including when The Islanders had the best record in the NHL and the Caps had the second best record.
However, this team is the most exciting team of all of them. There is nothing better than beating the Rangers in New York.

Posted by: chopin224 | November 18, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I can't get too down on Mcphee, but the lack of a tough-guy blueliner is GLARING. For now, our scorers are covering for our soft defense, but I hope they address the issue before the playoffs get here, or they're going to squander this opportunity.

Posted by: Tom703 | November 18, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I only wish other athletes would show that level of heart.

Posted by: nick87 | November 18, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The only possible thing that could have made this performance better is if he'd been punching Sean Avery in the face.

Posted by: ThisGuy | November 18, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

=============================================

I totally agree! I hate Sean Avery! I can not believe that the refs called a penalty on Erskine in that 3rd period for hitting Avery after he "face-rubbed" Varlamov again after stoppage of play. The refs are totally A-Holes for calling that penalty instead of just letting it go or calling a penalty on Avery too as instigator.

Posted by: JohnWWW | November 18, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you poguesmahone. Every analyst talks about the Caps needing a little defensive help to go far in the playoffs. I'm sure McPhee is having the scouts looking (I hope).Last night when Backstrom gets hit by Callahan, who has to come to his defense...Ovie. I don't want Ovie being that person. Sooner or later Ovie is going to have to drop the gloves. i don't Ovie hurt because of a fight. We need some tough guys. Bless Bradley, what a heart, and what a great way it turned out with him scoring the game winner!!!

Posted by: jmcale57 | November 18, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"I can not believe that the refs called a penalty on Erskine in that 3rd period for hitting Avery after he "face-rubbed" Varlamov again after stoppage of play. The refs are totally A-Holes for calling that penalty instead of just letting it go or calling a penalty on Avery too as instigator."

Would you have even seen Avery take a swipe at Varley if Versus didn't show it 6 times on replay? My guess is no.

The refs missed it too. It happens. In that kind of situation, the penalty on Erskine is ALWAYS going to get called, because after the first one, the ref is going to hear something to make him look over at Avery, just in time to see Erskine knock him down.

Erskine knew he was going to go for 2... he should have made sure he got his 2 minutes worth at least.

Posted by: garylabelle | November 18, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering if Erskine was gonna start something now that he's back, but Bradley's good, too.

Isn't it customary to remove the helmet when fighting?

Posted by: j762 | November 18, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Brads reminds me of "killer" in "Slapshot"...unsung but fearless...here's a guy who gets the most out of his skills every time he goes over the boards...if the Caps could bottle his "take no prisoners" energy and attitude they would become an irresistible force indeed...and a huge shout out to Quintin Laing for literally laying it on the line every game...

Posted by: AMGABBER | November 18, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

It always feel great to beat the hate Rangers but to see Matt Bradley do that! What a hero for the Caps he was. Roll on the march to the top seed in the East!

Posted by: templetontherat1978 | November 19, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

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