Tonight was the return of Nick Backstrom. As everyone on the CSN crew let us know. 14 times. The Caps came out flying and took an early 2-0 lead before completely disappearing until the shoot out where Hendy and Semin got us the win. Neuvy kept us alive all night long and made some incredible saves. Buffalo lost which gives us a 2 pt lead with 3 games to go. Lets finish this season strong! See below for the CSN crew:
Third Star (1 pt):
Carol Maloney. Came out with a lot of energy for the second intermission, perhaps in an effort to make up for the Caps’ lack of motivation in the second. Wasn’t rocking the red, but at least she was in blue, and if we’re being honest, just about any color of any kind would have scored her some serious points after Brent Harris’ umpteen different shades of gray in the first. Seriously Brent, your commentary is solid, but get a more interesting suit, or at least a snazzy tie. The gray is so drab and depressing. But right, this post is supposed to be about Carol Maloney.
Carol gave us a nice long look-in and fairly comprehensive coverage of the Sabres/Leafs game tonight, and made sure to make note of the playoff implications of that game on the Caps. Always a nice thing to remind us of this time of year.
Second Star (2 pts):
Smokin’ Al Koken. Koken was a busy man tonight. He had a pregame interview with Knuble, handled the intermission interviews, had two bites of the nite segments with the assistant coaches, and did a post game interview with Neuvy. I really enjoyed his interviews with Beagle; which featured a replay of his goal, Hendy; in which you could feel the intensity coming off of number 26, and Neuvy; his post game comments were adorable and showed how much he cares about the team. Koken disappeared from the scoring sheet for awhile during the middle of the season but ever since that game in which he and Rob Carlin switched places he has really seemed to step his game up.
First Star (3 pts):
Alan May. What can we say that hasn’t been said about this man. His pre game coverage was solid as normal and he gave Hendy a shoutout for his great shootout skills. In the Post game Alan May was the first man to heap tons of credit onto Neuvy and followed this up by talking about Semin and Matty P. Finally, he gave Hendy some more credit for his tough play and shootout skills. Basically everything positive that I thought about the Caps tonight May touched on and did so in the order that they deserved to talked about. Neuvy, Matty Semin, and Hendy. He did a great job not letting us forget about all the things the Caps did wrong tonight and need to improve upon if they want to finish off this push to the playoffs. May proved tonight why he is on top of the standings and why he aims to keep it that way.
Last Star (-1 pt):
Locker. Oh, Locker... Him and Joe B were at it again pregame and in the first, making sure to inform us how terrible MTL has been on the road, how crappy their season has been off the ice, and how bad their record was when trailing after the first period. And wouldn’t you know it, the Habs managed to claw themselves back into it and take the game to a shootout. The announcer jinx strikes again. Got some slight bonus points for coining Hendy’s awesome new nickname (“Paralyzer”) and resulting obvious theme song, but, well, if I’m being honest, Locker played himself into last place early on tonight when he predicted the Great Satan (also known as the Pittsburgh Penguins) to win the Stanley Cup this year. For shame, Locker, for shame. Not sure what’s going on with him of late; despite his strong performances throughout most of the season, he’s dropped the ball a couple of times lately and as a result looks to be playing himself out of competition for the top spot and handing it to Alan May.
That's all we have for tonight. May made a strong statement that he intends to finish the season on top. Two games to go until we reach the end of the AOTI race. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!