Friday, December 08, 2006

Caps vs. Ducks 12-8-2006 Post-Mortem

And THUD! goes the four game winning streak... Let's get on with the Battle Damage Assessment and get it over with...

THE GOOD:
  • While our beleaguered Penalty Killers (who honestly could be much worse than they are) only had to kill three penalties tonight, they killed all three of them. Yes, they gave up a boatload of shots but they kept the puck out of the net. Thank Heaven for small miracles the way we were playing tonight. Did I mention that Anaheim has the top rated Power Play in the NHL?
  • We didn't get shut out. The offense looked out of sync and Glen Hanlon had to put Donald Brashear on the Power Play to jump start it, but we scored. Again, Thank Heaven for small miracles because Alexander Semin almost missed the net.

THE BAD:

  • You almost thought that the Caps were the team that traveled across three time zones to get to the game tonight and not Anaheim.
  • Not only did we lose the game, but we also lost the fights. Brashear acquitted himself well, but John Erskine Bowles and Matt "Omar" Bradley embarrassed themselves. While that's standard operating procedure for Bowles, it clearly didn't have the intended effect on the Caps. Now do you see why I hate the staged fights?
  • The offense wasn't alone looking out of sync tonight. There were moments at both ends of the rink that rated somewhere between Keystone Kops and Rank Amateurish.
  • 18 shots allowed in the second period. Granted a fair number of those shots came on the two Anaheim Power Play but come on guys.

THE UGLY:

  • Before the season started (I'm too lazy to link back right now) I said that this team was only going to go as far as Olie Kolzig would take them. He didn't take them anywhere tonight and if you wanted to blame one person in particular for this loss tonight, you can blame him. What makes it all the more disappointing was the fawning article on him in today's (Com)Post.
  • No, I'm not picking on him, but the shorthanded goal that Kolzig personally handed on a silver platter to Todd Marchant deserves special notice. Especially since it turned out to be the game winner
  • The first line of A.O., Captain Chris Clark, and Dainius Zubrus were a combined -11 tonight and only registered 1 point on A.O.'s assist. A.O. had some nice moves but took 6 of the line's 7 recorded shots. Simply put, the team's stars just didn't get the job done tonight and on a team like this, that is bad news.

It seems as though every time the Caps get any kind of confidence or accolades that they fall so much apart that you wonder why or how they ever got to that confidence and praise in the first place. It seems to me that what this team needs to learn the most now is how to handle success because they don't seem to handle it very well. Because this is a young team going through a learning process, they deserve praise when they play great games like they did against the Buffaslugs and jump all over teams playing on consecutive nights like they did during the winning streak so not praising them and trying to destroy their confidence is not the answer. Let's now hope that this loss does not build the way the shutout at Carolina last month did.

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