Saturday, November 04, 2006

Caps vs. Thrashers 11-3-2006 Post-Mortem

Ugh, blowing a two goal lead at home and losing once again 4-3 to Atlanta. That's only the start of the Caps problems...

THE GOOD:
  • Dainius Zubrus with two goals tonight, always a good thing. The second one needed help from the video goal judge.
  • The Penalty Killers went 5 for 5 tonight and got a shorthanded goal thanks to Captain Chris Clark and almost got another in the second period.
  • The Caps scored their third and final goal with 6 seconds left in the second period. Getting a goal in the final seconds of a period is always great momentum boost.

THE BAD:

  • Once again, the Caps blew a 2-0 lead on home ice. In recent days the Caps have learned how to close out one goal wins on the road. Now they need to learn how to nurse two goal leads at home.
  • The Power Play went 1 for 5 in the all too familiar, score impressively on the first one and look disorganized the rest of the night fashion. And even then, the goal wasn't all that impressive looking, the pressure we mounted was compared to the rest of the night. Given a Power Play with 8:59 to go and down one, the Caps have to be able to generate some offense.
  • And speaking of offense, the shots on goal declined as the game wore on. The Caps fired 11 shots in the first, 9 in the second, and only 7 in the third.

THE UGLY:

  • The game winning goal was scored just 27 seconds into the third period. Any momentum gained by the Caps scoring in the closing seconds of the second period was lost for good.
  • Not only did the Caps give up two goals in 35 seconds to surrender the lead, they allowed 18 shots on goal in the second period.
  • The Caps still had big time issues leaving their own zone with the puck under control. They've got puck moving defensemen and fast forwards. They've got to get these guys on the same page.

For a team that had three days off, the Caps had very little jump in their skates. It was almost as if the Caps were playing like they were still on the road. For only brief periods of time did the Caps look to try to throw everything at Hedberg. But a thought began to occur to me coming home tonight that maybe the Caps have reached a point in their play where simply outworking and out hustling their opponents simply will not get the job done anymore. Atlanta looked and played like a team that had more talent than the Caps and once that talent decided to take over, there was precious little that the Caps hard work could do to change that. I've said it often enough before, this team is better than they were last year, but they still have a long way to go. The Caps are going to struggle against better hockey teams no matter how well they play. Atlanta is better than us, they have more talent. This is why they were able to erase a two goal deficit. A game like tonight is why the Caps are not likely to make the playoffs and even if they do, they are not going to last very long.

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