Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Caps @ Canadiens 2-20-2007 Post-Mortem

Looks as if we took the stupid pills tonight. Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Another night with good effort and good energy. You almost begin to wonder just what this team needs to do in order to get a win on the road. Where's Pedro Cerrano and Joe-Bu when you need them?
  • Finally somebody not named Alex steps up to provide some offense. Jamie "Home Run" Heward's two long distance drives got things going for the Caps.

THE BAD:

  • What in the world was going on with the officiating tonight? In the first period they called just about everything but after that, they seemed to have left their whistles in the locker room. I especially loved how the two Caps who got bloodied up went completely missed by referees Bill McCreary and Rob Martell.
  • And speaking of penalties, the penalties the Caps took in the first period were of the stupid variety. Once again the Caps failed to adjust on the fly to how the officials were calling the game.
  • 18 shots on goal for the Caps tonight. That's way too few for a team that is facing a goaltender playing his second ever NHL game. And considering that we got 3 goals anyway, imagine what would have happened had we gotten around 30 shots? And speaking of which, where was out patented third period desperation flurry? We had only four shots on goal in the third.
  • I don't know if it was bad goaltending on Brent Johnson's part or just continued bad luck, but how does Chris Higgins beat Johnny along the ice for the first goal of the game when he has his pad up against the post?

THE UGLY:

  • The Special Teams for the Caps were certainly "special" for us tonight. 1 for 5 on the Power Play giving up a shorthanded goal, 3 for 7 killing penalties, and we gave up an empty net goal to boot. Twice in the past three games we've given up a shorthanded goal due to the defensive deficiencies of Alexander Semin. Please get him off the point.
  • The stats lie completely about John Erskine Bowles' night. He's listed as being a +1 with two hits but that is due entirely to being paired with Heward who scored two goals and not taking a - for being on the ice when giving up a Power Play goal. However, three times he made very, very bad step ups in the neutral zone (one lead to a 2-on-1 that Heward broke up) and twice he went running out for a hit and completely missed. All of those took him way out of position and he is too slow to recover from those mistakes. I can't tell you how much I like watching Heward run around by himself in his own zone trying to cover twice the amount of ice that he is supposed to. What Steve Eminger and Mike Green did to lose icetime to Erskine Bowles is beyond me. But seeing as how the playoffs are just about done for this team, there's no reason to continue to play that hack.

Now the Caps head home and have five of their next six games on home ice. Hopefully the Caps can get some confidence going again playing on home ice, but the list of opponents does not bode well for us. Nevertheless, the Caps have to not only play with good energy, but play smart hockey as well. Once again one bad period costs the Caps the game and that bad result was a result of stupid hockey.

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