Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Caps vs. Panthers 10-18-2006 Post-Mortem

Who says that you need to play three periods in order to win a hockey game? The Caps only played one and coasted to a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers tonight.

THE GOOD:

  • All Hail and Rejoice! We have a Richard Zednik sighting! Ok, he didn't have any shots and was charged with three giveaways, but he also had his first two points since returning to Washington and he was a +3. He almost single handedly created the first goal but he had huge help from Alex Auld who played that as poorly as he could of. But still Zed fans have something to crow about.
  • The first period was the best hockey that the Caps have played all season. For the first 20 minutes of tonight's game, the Caps backed up their talk about playing better vs. division opponents.
  • A.O. started to look like he did at this point last season. He was creating his own shot and was going at people with 4 shots on goal and 5 hits.

THE BAD:

  • Florida's goaltending. Alex Auld gave up 4 goals on 12 shots in 12:36 of work. Ed Belfour was then pulled out of the mothballs and gave up the 5th goal on the first shot he faced.
  • The Caps breakout scheme tonight. I've never seen the Caps as bottled up as they were tonight in the second and third periods.
  • The high quality East German Surplus equipment that Abe Polin uses in the phone booth. The scoreboard was on the fritz in the third period and at one point, we were treated to a Mistakes-Shock score. This has been a recurring problem over the years and how is it that these things don't ever get fixed?

THE UGLY:

  • The second period once again. The Caps were beaten to pucks and generally outworked. The Caps survived but they have got to stop doing this on a nightly basis if they want to contend for a playoff spot.
  • The special teams tonight were certainly "special." 0 for 5 on the Power Play with little threat to score. The Penalty Killers killed off a 1:31 5 on 3 in the second period but couldn't kill the other two penalties. The Caps proved that they were serious about winning division games, now they need to prove their seriousness in improving the special teams.
  • Nathan Horton:

A win is a win is a win. As I've said throughout this posting the Caps backed up their words and came out strong against a division opponent and won the game in regulation. It is a good sign that the Caps were able to sit on a 4 goal lead for two periods and still win comfortably. Though I honestly do not think that they will be able to do that against better teams. Some of the problems in the third period could have been an effort to save energy as the Caps are on their way to Atlanta to play their first set of back-to-back games. So there isn't much time to enjoy this victory or to fix the mistakes made tonight. But that's life in the NHL for you.

It has been.... A TWO POINT NIGHT!

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