It's more like the home game that was, so this should be a brief-ish recap.
On The IceMarcus Johansson provided my Caps highlight of the night by scoring his first NHL goal in the second period. And it was pretty. Hopefully a snippet of things to come from him. The PK is still looking rather stout as well. That 5-on-3 kill late in the second felt like a potential game-changer.
Other than that, there wasn't much to write home about. It's always tough to watch that type of frustrate-a-thon, and doubly so when it's a home game. One bounce or slightly better-directed pass could change the entire complexion of the game, but it just doesn't quite happen. Essentially, any games that conjure up memories of late April, 2010, aren't going to rank high on the "favorites" list.
Maybe a teensy bit of a strategy shift/simplification on the power play might be in order? Maybe?
In The StandsDid the Caps install random ejector seats between the first home stand and the Bruins game? There seemed to be a whole lot of people who just couldn't wait to get up and see what was going on up on the concourse. There's always a bit of traffic, but it really felt like a parade. Maybe the 7:30 start and the extended Versus Network TV time-outs threw everybody's rhythm off a bit. (That might also explain the amount of people who started rolling out about halfway through the third period.)
Above Our Heads And BeyondPerhaps this bit should be renamed "In My Ears" this time around, because that's where the ringing sure was before the game even started. DJ Stretch's tunes during warm-ups were cranked relatively loudly in the seating bowl, but not bleedingly loud, and I was ready for it after the last home game. Besides, the players and other fans seem to dig it. What I wasn't prepared for was the screechingly loud AM radio piped through the speakers on the concourse and the rock-concert volume level of the music and PA before, during, and after the opening video hoopla. I honestly couldn't talk to anyone in my immediate vicinity without shouting.
I know it might sound weird for me to be complaining about noise at a hockey game, but there's a pretty big difference between crowd noise (which is always welcome, awesome, and in some cases, damned impressive) and media noise. I loved that the crowd could drown out the sound system during the opening home stand. If I had a vote, I would check the box next to "Opening Night" on the volume level ballot. I guess it was a bit of A/V's revenge on Tuesday night. Hopefully it was a special occasion.
And So…Not the best night ever at the F Street Arena, and the lack of chemistry/clicking on the offense is a little bit of a red flag, but they've got a chance to get back at them pretty much right away, so hopefully they can wash taste of this one right out of their mouths. (Especially Mr. Neuvirth. Get well soon, man!)
Aside from that, I still anxiously await the return of the six-dollar nachos to the lower level.