New Caps coach Adam Oates signals from bench during first game - Tampa, Fla. January 19, 2013.
Photo © Brian Blanco / AP Photo.
Photo © Brian Blanco / AP Photo.
Washington Capitals 3 Vs Tampa Bay Lightning 6 = Road Game Loss
One of the 13 games played on opening day of the lockout shortened
I'm not knocking these guys, these professional hockey players, but it did seem kind of weird watching "early season" sloppiness in mid January. Well that is to be expected, and hey, I was still very much entertained. I wasn't happy with the end result (My team lost.), but yeah, entertained. It will take a few games for their play to get into shape.
It will also take a few games for the on-ice officials to get into shape, as well. They seemed to be making a point straight away, that they were going to be strict this season. Referees were calling penalties on the cheap side, within the first few minutes, of many of the opening day's games. It was penalties, most of them deserved, that ultimately cost the Capitals the game.
Goal scoring went back and forth, for the first two periods, with both teams netting three. As a matter of fact, there were three goals scored in each of the three periods. Unfortunately for Caps fans, the last three were all Bolts'.
Right-winger Joel Ward put two in for Washington, a power-play goal in the first, and one at even-strength in the second period. New teammate, left-wing Wojtek Wolski, got the Caps' last goal at 18:15 of period two. Superstar Martin StLouis (RW) potted the game winner about five minutes into the third period, a PPG. It was his second of the night. Centerman Vincent Lecavalier managed one at full-strength during the first, but like all the Caps' goals, the rest of the Bolts' goals came from secondary type guys.
The Tampa Bay's young goaltender Anders Lindback (24) got the win over Washington's slightly younger Braden Holtby (23), who might not have been at his best on this particular evening. I'm sure Holtby will be fine next game. He will readjust to NHL speed quickly, as will the defense in front of him.
No one was happier than I, to see defenseman Tom Poti return from long-term injury reserve. He looked great, and even picked up an assist on Joel Ward's first goal. He will make DC's defense so much better, if he holds up well.
I was also glad to see the new guys Wojtek Wolski (1 Goal, 1 Assist) and center Mike Ribeiro (1 Assist) get in on the scoring. They should generate a good bit of offense this season. Jason Chimera (F), John Carlson (D) and Roman Hamrlik (D) also got in one assist each.
Don't worry Caps fans, this was just the first game. We've got a long way to go, although nowhere near as long as usual, in this shortened season (48 games instead of 82), Just as the team does, forget about it, and start looking forward to the next game. Certainly, it will take several games to even begin to gauge how good a coach Adam Oates will be.
01-19-13 Caps Postgame Locker Room: Caps players Mike Green, Braden Holtby, Alex Ovechkin, Tom Poti, Joel Ward, Wojtek Wolski and Mike Ribeiro address the media after a 6-3 loss against Tampa Bay.
01-19-13 Adam Oates Postgame: Caps head coach Adam Oates addresses the media after a 6-3 loss against Tampa Bay.