Saturday, November 18, 2006

Caps @ Bruins 11-18-2006 Post-Mortem

Maybe I don't feel bad about not being able to travel to Boston today. The Caps fared about as well in Beantown and the Terps did today. Let's get on with the Battle Damage Assessment:

  • You have to admire the effort that the Caps did put out tonight with them playing on back-to-back nights, their third in four night and fourth in six. Throw in injuries to Captain Chris Clark, Alexander Semin, Dainius Zubrus, and allegedly Steve Eminger, and the Caps had just about every reason to get a roll of stamps and mail this one in. They didn't as they played hard all night which is all you can ask of any team at any level.
  • The Caps made Tim Thomas work tonight as they fired 29 shots on goal tonight. They had more on Wednesday night, but tonight's shots were much harder for Thomas to handle.
  • Donald Brashear played a good game tonight. He had two shots on goal and during his 8:06 of ice time, you noticed when he was out there because he was hitting people and creating chances for himself and his line. With what amounts to an entire top line out with injuries tonight, Brashear answered the call to step up and deserves kudos for it.


  • The Caps gave up 16 shots in the third period after giving up exactly that many through the first two. Some of that was due to the Power Plays that Boston got in the third period (they had 3 including a 5-on-3) but the 16 shots the Bruins got in that period gave them 32 for regulation. The Caps still need to cut down on the shots against.
  • The Penalty Kill went 2 for 8 tonight. Too many penalties once again for the Caps but I will rant on this more later. But I will say that taking penalties in overtime is almost a death wish.
  • The Power Play was 1 for 6 tonight and only got one shot on goal on their first four Power Plays. To be fair though, this is very likely due to the injury situation that the Caps faced tonight. They can't afford having three players from their top unit out and expect to generate much offense.


  • The officiating of referees Kelly Sutherland and Ian Walsh was downright incompetent tonight. Had this not been a one goal game all night, you would have very likely had seen the type of ugly incidents that mar the NHL in this game. The referees had no control over the game tonight as Boston had free reign to do what they wanted to the Caps in the physical department, but the Caps were given no such liberties. Of the penalties called on Boston tonight, 4 were hookings and 2 were slashings. Yet the Caps were hit with boarding and high sticking calls (butt-ending a player in the face is a high-stick) that the Bruins were allowed to get away with all night long. The absolute worst came in the second period when Matt "Princess Pettinger had to take a retaliation penalty because of a clear-cut interference call on Brad Stuart that was missed when he decked Jakub "and sons" Klepis. Glen Hanlon went ballistic on that one and had the censors looking to cut away from him out of the fear of lip readers at the FCC. Ben "What A" Clymer also took a retaliation penalty after he got boarded in the first period. The referees furthermore botched the penalty shot award to Marco Sturm as he was NOT denied a scoring opportunity (Johnson just simply stoned him). Maybe we can equivocate this by saying that the referees just had an "off night" like teams and people have from time-to-time. But that does not make what went on tonight any better.

Brent Johnson once again deserved a better fate tonight. The Caps come away with a hard fought point only because the NHL rewards losing after 60 minutes of play. While the Caps made some of the calls against them easy, some of the calls against them shouldn't have been called at all or at least called on Boston as well. The Caps now have three days off and it is expected that Zubrus, Clark, and Eminger will be back in the lineup on Wednesday night. But I can't help but to have a bitter taste in my mouth after the festivities in Boston today.



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