The absurdity of punditry and the beauty of hockey sometimes align: You (okay okay, I) reasonably predict a high scoring game between two teams that bleed goals, so instead you will naturally get ... a game where an anonymous defenseman's volley from the point is the only shot that matters.
Against all odds, the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals played two scoreless periods before Andrew MacDonald of all people (buy him now! He logs minutes and offense!) broke the ice with a seeing-eye shot from the point that beat Michal Neuvirth. That was it. Evgeni Nabokov shut the door for his 57th career shutout to remind the Capitals that they don't have many regulations wins.
Neuvirth had just outright robbed Frans Nielsen on the power play, off an ingenious setup from Thomas Vanek, so it was only proper that the goalie be beaten by a seemingly benign shot from the point.
I guess THAT IS WHY NEUVIRTH WAS FIRST STAR AND NABBY WASN'T, RIGHT?
Beyond all that, there were surprisingly few shots (28-22 for the Isles), many power plays (the Isles whiffed on four, the Caps whiffed on six, defying all odds coming in), and a fight (Matt Martin and Tyson Strachan in the first), so I guess it makes sense that the Isles would win 1-0.
Because why not?
I would add more, but whatever...Thomas Vanek or something. Alex Ovechkin somehow didn't kill the Isles just as our hopes were raised, which is something that fits the Milbury NBC narrative beautifully.
Instead, we'll leave it to Keith and Dan to capture the zeitgeist of the moment, as the Isles win pulls them to within seven points of seventh place in the Metro. Yeah!
I have to be glad that the Isles won and two of their trade chips factored in on a national broadcast. It's the little things, you know?
— Keith (@KeithLHHockey) February 5, 2014
I think the last time the #Isles shut out the Caps was 1988. Probably Kelly Hrudey. But I might be wrong.
— Dan Saraceni (@cultureoflosing) February 5, 2014