So my experience as a Washington Capitals "partial plan holder" got off to a real nice start on Saturday night as the Caps took a 5-2 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes by scoring three third period goals.
Alexander Semin scored his second, third and fourth goals of the season and the hats went on the ice. Not only did I not wear my A.O. Hat Trick Hat ($14.99 at the Beltway Sports Beat Shop), but it was a different Alex doing the scoring anyway, so it wouldn't really have felt right to heave it onto the playing surface.
I'm thinking I need to fix that hat so it just says "HAT TRICK HAT" or "ALEXANDER HAT TRICK HAT" with an 8 and a 28 on it. Not that anyone's buying them. (Come on people. Only a couple months before the holidays.)
I think this is where I rehash my idea about selling a hat for $5 at Verizon Center concession stands that just says "Hat Trick Hat," bring 'em out when someone has two goals, sell them for five bucks, then sweep 'em up, throw 'em through the wash and sell 'em again! These are the kinds of visionary ideas I should be paid for.
So in two games Semin has amassed 40 percent of his previous NHL total of 10 goals, all scored in his rookie campaign (and only prior season in the NHL) in 2003-04 when he played 52 games for the Caps.
This Alex and Alex combo is going to be nice.
Yes, it felt good to be back at the phone booth. The pregame ceremony was fun, including some sweet graphics on the ice and a cool team introduction (minus some flubs between the announcer and the AV team), and the team followed with five goals in a winning effort.
The crowd collectively held their breath when 'Canes defenseman Tim Gleason gave Ovechkin a low hit to the legs, leaving the Caps star on the ice in a heap for several minutes, but he got up, got a Band-Aid and didn't miss a shift.
Maybe it didn't help that Chris Clark leaped to Ovie's aid by jumping Gleason ... with both of them landing right on top of Ovechkin. But you like to see the new captain standing up for his star player.
Plus it's nice to think that on November 9, Timmy Gleason should have a face full of Donald Brashear.
Great game, great experience, and I've still got tickets to 10 more!
Time permitting I'll do a full Caps preview, hopefully between now and the next game, Thursday night at Minnesota.