Theodore stopped 35 shots last night including 18 in the 2nd period. He also made a couple unbelievable saves–one against Kimmo Timonen where he slid across the crease and dove face first to snatch the wrist shot with his glove. The Caps have been stellar at home all year, but have looked a little shaky as of late. However, their performance on the road has been even better recently, and it has a lot to do with Jose’s play.
Theo hasn’t lost a road game in regulation since January 20 against Ottawa. He is 5-0-2 in his last 7 road starts with a GAA of 2.28. He’s 11th in the NHL with 26 wins, and has played over 2700 minutes (15th in the NHL). His GAA remains under 3 at 2.79, which is a good figure considering the Caps average 3.19 goals per game–mostly due to Alex Ovechkin.
Once again the Great 8 was matched up against the opposing teams best defensive players. Teams have been trying to figure out a way to stop him, but he rises to any challenge thrown his way. He made a nice feed in front on the powerplay to Brooks Laich for the redirect goal to give the Caps the lead. He was forechecking hard with 3 minutes to go to force a giveaway to Alexander Semin. Semin fed a wide-open Ovie in front to give him his 100th career assist, and the Caps the lead. There is no doubt that number 8 is the leader of this team, and that he is head and shoulders above the entire league.
Lets look at his numbers:
Goals: 48(1st) Assists: 39(23rd) Points: 87(2nd) PPGs: 15(t-4th)
GWGs: 10(t-1st) Shots: 435(1st) Hits: 215(7th)
Ovechkin is the most dynamic player the NHL has seen since maybe the Sergei Fedorov of the 97-98 Red Wings or Mike Bossy of the 80-83 Islanders. Both of those players led their teams to the Stanley Cup, and Ovie is sure to bring the Caps within reach in the next couple of years. He is currently on a 9-game point streak with 6 goals and 6 assists. He needs 2 more goals to reach 50 for the 3rd time in 4 seasons. He is on pace to match his career high of 65 from last season.
* Alex Ovechkin *
** Jose Theodore **
*** Mike Knuble ***