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The following Washington Capitals highlight video is not exciting, but that is exactly why it is wonderful.

In a game with 1st place in the NHL’s Southeast division on the line, enough stars to create a new constellation and an atmosphere that seemed playoff like even through the television, it was this watered down rush that makes me think the trophy case at Verizon Center could host something new soon.

After Tampa Bay’s Dwayne Roloson and Washington’s Braden Holtby (who replaced an injured Michal Neuvirth) put on a goaltending display, right wing Alexander Semin tied it up late in the 3rd and left wing Alex Ovechkin won it by punishing the water bottle in the shootout, it was the simple play above that got me excited about the playoffs and the future.

1st round draft choices Karl Alzner (2007, 5th overall) and John Carlson (2008, 27th overall) have matured into responsible youngsters that continue to gel together and make life a little less exciting on the ice – in a very good way for Caps fans.

The video clip shows Alzner and Carlson clamping down on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s dynamic veteran pair of Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier.

This is at the 7:17 point of the 3rd period with the Caps down 1-0 on the road. It is awesome as a fan to watch this develop and think nothing of it – the “kids” have got it.

They are still young and learning, but the poise and skill they display on a nightly basis bodes well as the Capitals continue to focus on a more defensive approach to the game.

This is nothing you will see on TV highlights, but it stood out to me and I’d like to offer thanks for the effort and workmanship both Alzner and Carlson are brining to the ice (and love the fact they get a chance to learn tricks of the NHL leadership trade from new center Jason Arnott).

Keep it up and enjoy the ride!