Game 51: Alexander the GR8 lights it up

Alexander Ovechkin celebrates one his four goals on Thursday night.
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The Canadiens might have stolen a point on Thursday night in Washington, but Alexander Ovechkin stole the show. Ovechkin scored four goals, including the game winner in overtime as the Caps avenged their 4-0 defeat in Montreal two days ago with a 5-4 victory.

The Canadiens were able to overcome deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 to grab a point, but they had no answer for Ovechkin, who also assisted on Viktor Kozlov’s goal in the second period, giving him a five-point night. Ovechkin now has 43 goals on the season, tops in the NHL.

The Canadiens came out flat in this one and Oveckin made them pay. He got things going in the first period when he riffled a one-timer past Cristobal Huet while the teams were playing 4-on-4. Ovechkin was left all alone to Huet’s right and the French goaltender had no chance.

Kozlov made it 2-0 in the second period with a tap-in from in front of the net on a nice feed from Ovechkin, who added his second of the game a few minutes later when Kozlov returned the favour and sent Ovechkin in on Huet, beating him with a quick shot over the shoulder.

That’s when the Canadiens got things going. Sergei Kostitsyn scored his fifth of the season 13 minutes into the second period on a pass from Guillaume Latendresse. Andrei Kostitsyn made it 3-2 with a power-play goal with less than one second to play in the frame. It marked the first time brothers have scored in the same game for the Canadiens since 1974.

Ovechkin appeared to put the game away with his third of the game midway through the third period, but the Canadiens were not done yet.

Latendresse scored with a little more than six minutes to play to make the score 4-3 and he added his 14th of the season to tie the game with 33 seconds to play and force overtime.

Huet faced 38 shots, making 33 saves on the night. Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig had an easier night, but allowed four goals on 21 shots.

With the point for an overtime loss, the Habs moved within five points of the Ottawa Senators, who were 4-1 losers to the Boston Bruins.

The Canadiens return home to play back-to-back matinees on the weekend. The Islanders are in town on Saturday, while the Rangers come to the Bell Centre on Super Bowl Sunday.

488 Comments

  1. Bill H says:

    About this Jokinen rumour.

    First off, as has been mentioned already, if the rumour comes from Eklund, that pretty much guarantees that it won’t happen.

    Second, I would agree with those who believe that Jokinen would be a great addition to the Habs. A big centre who has 38 and 39 goals the last 2 years, and is on track to do it again this year. He’s not a rental as he is under contract through next year, and the cap hit is $5.2M; not a lot for what we would be getting. And at age 29, he’s still in his prime and capable of producing good numbers for a few years yet. The only question, and it is a big one, is what do we give up to get him.

    I haven’t come across anyone refusing to give up Dandenault and Ryder to get Jokinen. The debate gets a little more interesting when we start to talk about giving up Higgins, Pleks or K1. Let’s look at some numbers.

    Higgins:
    Has been a little slower to develop than had hoped. Age 24. Last year he was off to a fast start, but then was injured, and when he came back, he played injured for the rest of the season. In 61 games he had 22G 16A and 38 Pts. So this year we were all hoping he would take it to the next level. He hasn’t quite done that, although with a record of 16G 16A 32Pts this year, he could be doing a lot worse. He could very well have a career year, but given the promise he showed last year until he was injured, most are disappointed with him.

    Pleks:
    Centreing our most productive and consistent line this year Pleks has put up great numbers with 16G 28A 44Pts. Age 25. Last year he was 20G 27A 47Pts, so his production is going in the right direction and most believe he hasn’t peaked yet.

    K1:
    The youngest of the 3 forwards I am looking at here, at age 22, he has caused at least as much excited speculation about his future as anyone else on the team. This is his breakout year with 14G 16A 30Pts in 46 games.

    I don’t think Jokinen is worth parting with any of these players that are key to our future. Jokinen does have more impressive numbers, but everone is focusing on his last 2 years. Take a look at his numbers when he was the age of the players that we are considering here.

    Jokinen:
    Born Dec ’78
    His first full year in the league was ’99 – ’00:
    11G 10A 21Pts in 82 games

    Followed by seasons of:
    6G 10A 16Pts (’00 – ’01)
    9G 20A 29Pts (’01 – ’02)
    This last stat was when he was age 23.

    My point is that all 3 of our young, core players have performed at a higher level and at a younger age than Jokinen. It would be a mistake to trade them at this point in their careers. They are the very core of our future. We trade any one of them for a 29 year old and we are cashing out on at least 5 of their most productive years, and we are messing with team chemistry while we are doing it. We trade any of those guys now, and how do you think our RFAs and UFAs will feel when they are renegotiating next year and the year after? They’ll be thinking, “This is a business. The club doesn’t hesitate to trade away my buddies when they think they can improve the lineup, why should I not sign somewhere else and make a cool million a year more?”

    We have the winning combination now. Show confidence in our players and help them maximize their own development. They will show their loyalty and bring us the Cup.

  2. Blitzen says:

    We were down two goals to a shutdown team (Devils) and managed to win. I think Washington’s D-play isn’t close to that of the Devils so we’ll get our chances. Just need to bury most of them and we’ll be golden. Also need to keep hitting Ovechkin.

    Early in the year, when the Habs were down a goal, it was almost time to switch channels. Now, I think they can come back against anyone.

  3. Roy-Rules says:

    We can trade Ryder, Dandy and Halak to some other team and pick up picks/prospects from them and use that to get Jokinen, I don’t think its a bad idea to give up a prospect defenseman, we have so many coming up. Komi, Markov and Hamrlik are gonna be around for a few years, theres no way we can keep all our prospects on the team.

  4. Roy-Rules says:

    We can trade Ryder, Dandy and Halak to some other team and pick up picks/prospects from them and use that to get Jokinen, I don’t think its a bad idea to give up a prospect defenseman, we have so many coming up. Komi, Markov and Hamrlik are gonna be around for a few years, theres no way we can keep all our prospects on the team.

  5. showey47 says:

    i think he just agreed to a one year extention with the caps last weekend, but agreed he skates well and decent hands for a big guy who plays an enforcer type role. I really think we missed the boat on recchi though, he has 21 points in 24 games with the thrashers, he is really good friends with saku.

  6. krob1000 says:

    I wondered about that too in the dying minutes when we did that. I thought is would have been a good opportunity to throw out Ryder, Sergei K and maybe Lats or Smolinski. It was nice to see Kovy score but I am glad you mentioned it because when it happened I thought the same thing given the back to back thing. Then again though they fired a puck into the net after the whistle (Huet then shut them out so maybe we should let teams do that).

  7. coutNY says:

    I agree a smaller complimentary piece… would suite this team much better and with less of a price tag, both talent and money wise.

  8. coutNY says:

    I think Eklund had him or Svatos moving as a possibility late summer months…

  9. RetroMikey says:

    Latest rumour…see my post.
    “We will win the Cup only with Carey Price in the nets”

  10. Moey says:

    Saku & the boys will be skating with the cup and people will still be making trades here.

  11. rogus says:

    Habs win 4-3 late in the 3rd. And I’m not “Jokin-en” LOL

  12. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    we should move for BRASHEAR immediately.

    did you notice how he didn’t want to hurt anybody on our team the other day…he is of French extraction and he respects the HABS highly (played here)…I say move for him ASAP BG.

    He has good hands and can be put on Koivus wing.

    ———
    1. DON’T imprison the FLOWER, not even for an HOUR…else we’ll RIOT!
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  13. krob1000 says:

    I have enver heard of Hejduk being available or even involved in a rumour anywhere. Also they are still without Stastny, Smyth and Sakic and don’t appear to be able to afford to deal one of their scorers. When they were healthy it seemed Svatos was maybe on the table but Hejduk hasn’t come up that I have seen anyway).

  14. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    and thats the core of the problem…chasing money.

    thats what ripped ‘dynasty potential’ teams apart (colorado comes to mind)

    but this group is “homegrown”…their name is being made HERE.
    that should count for something..loyalty, and the captain has been here since the start…that matters also…its an example.

    so if they evolve as we hope, into elite…then I can see a good 3 or 4 year run with this group, which should net minimum 3 Stanleys in a ROW!!!!!!

    ———
    1. DON’T imprison the FLOWER, not even for an HOUR…else we’ll RIOT!
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  15. Jay in PA says:

    I don’t think BG is going to pull off any trades for name players unless it’s a Kovy-style trade in which he trades away a second-round pick and a guy who’s had a couple of cups of coffee in the NHL but doesn’t fit into the team’s plans. It’s contrary to his style, for one thing–he’s no wheeler-dealer–and there’s no one on the team, save Ryder and the spare parts (Dandy & the Breeze), that is not a part of the future and/or a key part of the present. Dandy might welcome a trade–and it will probably happen–but he won’t bring more than a role player.

    It’s fun to consider big trades, and if we had Bob Clarke, Mike Milbury, or Cliff Fletcher as a GM, we could have a reasonable expectation that such a trade might take place. However, we’ve got BG, and he’s just not going to do it. Plus, compared to those guys, he’s had a lot more success building teams that win.

  16. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    for this initial signing we have his brother and Kovalev to influence him….so the price should be reasonable….
    ———
    1. DON’T imprison the FLOWER, not even for an HOUR…else we’ll RIOT!
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  17. Mike says:

    I noticed this yesterday and was surprised no one commented on it. I think thgat besides J.P. that this is the most realistic. I would expect either a ryder dandy and 2nd rounder for him and 3rd rounder or a ryder and prospect.

  18. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Don’t do ANYTHING….We don’t need that JOKE….or any other JOKES out there…

    are you people nuts!…we are in 2nd place!, not 28th!

    GET LOST JOKE…YOUR NOT WANTED…YOU WILL DESTROY OUR CHEMISTRY.
    ———
    1. DON’T imprison the FLOWER, not even for an HOUR…else we’ll RIOT!
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  19. coutNY says:

    I like Ol’Jokee, but who seriously would we give up that they’d be interested in that wouldn’t negatively disrupt the chemistry we’re experiencing and our future?

    What center would be moved? I doubt Pleks for obvious reasons… Smokes I doubt they want a vertran 3rd line FA center if you we’re giving up on the playoff by trading OLEE, also that has a NTC to combat such a move in the first place. LaPierre??? Possibily if they we’re thinking of the future about adding a good forechecker… very questionable. Koivu??? Also has a NTC in place and at his age wouldn’t go to a non-cup contender and would negate the friendship tie to this trade. So we would have a surplus of Centers right?

    Next who else would go… I am sure they would want Pleks, Kostitsyn(s), or a Higgins type prospect to offset their offensive loss, all whom are covented in this Org. I would hope!

    What Defensive Prospect? O’Byrne… Valentenko…. Carle?

    I guess this assumes that Eklunds rumor is what they were asking for…

    But Not sure how it would work unless we give up something big that has contributed to this seasons success…

    I don’t see a major move occurring unless we tank from now until deadline…

  20. mrstewart61 says:

    I mentioned yesterday about trying to get Hejduk. A 2nd tier talent that I think would look good on Koivu and Higgins’ line. If we could get them to take Ryder, a defenseman (Dandy or Cube, maybe Gorges) a prospect and a draft pick. How about the rights to Perezhogin?? Emelin?


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