The buzz started early in the week, with Ovie coming to town and arriving here in Vancouver three days before the game.
Hoards lined up to see him, take photos, get his autograph, as The Bay snuck that one in without most of the town knowing. Just as well, as The Bay would have had their hands full with the crowds this guy attracts.
This guy has turned into rock-star status and why not—he’s a complete package.
By game time, the hum had grown to a reverberating buzz in GM Place. This was a game that I had picked out when the schedule was released and made sure I got to attend. Having season tickets, that was not going to be a problem.
This atmosphere was no different than when “Sid the Kid” visited us last year, and it’s always such a complete difference in watching these stars in person than on a TV screen.
You get to watch what they do without the puck, when the TV camera is not following them and the competitive juices that prevail from them.
On Friday night we all came to see Alexander the Great perform his magic but this was not going to be one of those special nights. Yes, he was dangerous at times and came within inches from scoring a goal, but for the most part, he was not the dominating Ovie we have seen in the past.
That, of course, had something to do with the ‘Nucks not giving him any room to operate, shutting down the areas and forcing him when they could, to the outside.
Make no mistake about it, this Washington Capitals team has a load of talent besides Ovie and the fans got to witness some of them, as in another Alex, with the last name of Semin.
This guy has oodles of skill, and his goal from the slot, although one Louie should have had, was set up by his dancing on skate’s skill.
This guy can all out fly.
It’s no mistake that the Caps are one point from the top of the NHL standings. They have seven players with 21 or more points and have a never-ending supply of talent with the likes of Nick Backstrom, Mike Green, Chris Clark, and a young kid named Eric Fehr (6’4” – 212).
The defense is loaded with giants like Jess Schultz (6’6” – 230); Tyler Sloan, Shaone Morrisonn, Milan Jurcina, and John Erskine, all 6’4” and all around 220 pounds or more.
Semyon Varlamov, their goalie, who is slowing making a name for himself, sports a GAA of 2.21, save percentage of .924 and has won 12 of the 16 games he has played.
On paper it looked like David vs. Goliath and even with Ovie having an off night, the Caps still had the better of the play. If not for second star of the game, Bobby Lou, the Caps would have come out of it with a win.
You have to give kudos to the Canucks as they played a close to the vest type of game. There was no way that they could afford to get into a run and gun game, which would have allowed Ovie to run wild.
It turned out to be an entertaining game once the Canucks got through another one of their horrible second periods.
Mason Raymond turned out to be a star himself (the game’s first one) as the fans blew the roof off of GM Place when he scored his second goal of the night, which proved to be the winner. It’s good to see the kid get rewarded.
Hey, it was the best of both worlds! The Canucks won, we got to see Ovie, Louie stopped a penalty shot, and all this on a Friday night, when the stars came to town.
Filed under: NHL