- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
HARRIS: Capitals’ Steve Oleksy proving he’s more than just a pretty (beat up) face
A couple of weeks ago, Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy had a fresh set of stitches in his lower lip. They’re gone now. Taking their place are a couple of scrapes that will probably be followed by a bruise on his right cheek. That’s what happens when you take a puck to the face from close range.
To Oleksy, they’re beauty marks.
“I’m always beat up. About 90 percent of the season, I usually look like I got hit by a car,” Oleksy said. “The other 10 percent is the offseason.”
It’s not the offseason yet, so Oleksy probably has a few more pucks coming to the face. Oleksy and the Caps opened the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday night with 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers at Verizon Center. As he’s done since he joined the team March 5, Oleksy provided the Caps with a lot of steady defense.
For good measure, he threw maybe the best pass of the season.
“I didn’t know he had that club in his bag,” teammate Eric Fehr said afterward.
During the course of a single hockey game, the puck may get passed eleventy billion times. Or more. That one can stand out so much says a lot about its quality. You’d imagine a breath-taker of a pass might come from assist masters Mike Ribeiro or Nicklas Backstrom, or maybe superstar Alex Ovechkin.
Nope. It came from a rookie who would never have guessed in January that he’d be playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in May.
Late in the second period, with the score tied at 1, the Caps finished killing off an odd penalty. They were down two men for almost a minute, down one for another minute. It was time to take control of the game.
Oleksy glanced up ice and saw teammate Marcus Johansson behind the defense. Two Rangers were in front of him, separated by only a couple of feet. It was like one of those between-period games they sometimes play, where a fan has to shoot the puck into a small opening to win a car.
The puck zipped between the Rangers and onto Johansson’s stick. Only 27 seconds after the penalty kills, Johansson stuffed it past Henrik Lundqvist and the Caps had a 2-1 lead. Jason Chimera scored 47 seconds later.
“At first, I didn’t even think he was going to try and make the play,” Johansson added. “When he did, I knew it was going to get there. I told him afterward it was a hell of a pass.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Washington Times sports editor Mike Harris has more than 30 years experience in the business as a reporter, columnist and manager. He’s covered a wide variety of events including two Olympics, horse racing, auto racing, professional and college sports. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow the section on Twitter @WashTimesSports.
- HARRIS: Blown game leaves Caps missing the point
- HARRIS: Dust off the snow as Nats spring training heats up
- HARRIS: Caps have work to do to keep playoff streak alive
- Caps' Canadian contingent cheers for country over Carlson
- HARRIS: Will Alex Ovechkin sulk or soar after Olympic failure?
Latest Blog Entries
- Gio Gonzalez living a dream by throwing bullpen sessions to ex-Yankee Jorge Posada
- Meet Connor Carrick, the youngster who played his way onto the Caps' final roster
- Go Aggies: Nationals notes and lineups for Sept. 14
- RG3: There is no conflict with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan
- Sunday Nats-Dodgers lineups and some thoughts from reliever Craig Stammen
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- CPAC 2014: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight for liberty
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- EDITORIAL: Connecticut revolts against gun controls that could criminalize 300,000
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Protests in Russia against Putin's actions in Ukraine a shift in attitudes
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again