You might not think that Jaroslav Halak and Alex Ovechkin have much of a history considering the Blues goaltender's short time in the NHL. But that would ignore how the Capitals, the President Trophy winners last season, lost in the first round of the playoffs to the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens, thanks in large part to Halak.
During the series Ovechkin didn't give Halak much credit. He told reporters that in Game 2 he thought Halak was nervous due to the goaltender's hands shaking while getting a drink from the Gatorade bottle. Halak told reporters in a straight deadpan for effect, "If you squeeze the bottle...I think your hand is going to shake."
As you see in the picture above, Halak had the last laugh. Or smile. Looks like Ovie really took that loss tough, eh? Just recently, on Nov. 22, the Caps were shutout 5-0 to the lowly New Jersey Devils, a team the Blues handled pretty easily just two days before. After the game Ovechkin was yukking it up with Ilya Kovalchuk in the hallway after the game, just 10 feet from Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau was having a somber news conference explaining how his team got beat so soundly. He was practically interrupted by loud laughing/chattering in Russian. Asked what he thought of that interaction afterward, Boudreau said he wanted to reserve comment.
Tonight could be an interesting game. The Blues might get one of Ovechkin's best games. Halak may be thinking about that series last year. The Blues need a win tonight more than the high flying Caps. The Blues are a hurt dog after getting pushed around and scored on at will last night in Chicago. Home ice has been nice. All the elements are there for a memorable game tonight.
So strap in. Drink it up. Whatever you do, do it. This is your game day thread, comment like you're about to be deported to Siberia.