Thursday, February 01, 2007

Caps @ Panthers 2-1-2007 Post-Mortem

Another game with Florida, another disheartening loss. What is it with us and these guys? Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • A.O. scored his league leading 33rd goal of the season tonight and extended his point streak to 13 games which is now the best in the NHL.
  • Olie Kolzig finally had enough and not only tried to break his stick on the crossbar, he took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. More on that later.
  • For the first time in what seems like all season, the Caps outshot an opponent in the first period, of course it was 12-11 and the Caps trailed 2-1 after the first period but I've got to come up with something positive.

THE BAD:

  • 2 for 9 on the Power Play tonight but the worst of it was once again blowing a 5-on-3 for 51 seconds. Again the Caps could have tied the game up and completely changed the complexion of the game but instead gave up a goal 15 seconds after the second penalty ended. Yes, Florida has been red hot on the Penalty Kill, but lately the Power Play unit has been unable to come up with the much needed big goal.
  • And as badly as the Power Play let the game get away, the Penalty Killers went 3 for 6. That's great in baseball but awful in hockey. And to make matters worse, the Panthers blew the game open on their 50 second 5-on-3.
  • If you missed the first period you wouldn't have known that Richard Zednik returned tonight. I thought we wasn't going to hit the wall until the 3rd or 5th game back?

THE UGLY:

  • How bad was it tonight? Kolzig tied Alexander Semin for the team lead in penalty minutes tonight with 4. Kolzig's second penalty lead to a 1:19 5-on-3 on the heels of their converted 5-on-3 which gave Florida 1:31 of 5-on-3 time.

The last time Kolzig visibly lost his temper in a game was on November 25th, 2006 on Long Island in a 4-1 loss to the Islanders. The Caps then went out and started a four game winning streak against four teams that the Caps were not expected to beat and won seven of the next nine. Expect for a three game winning streak in January that was the last really successful run the Caps had this season. While winning seven of the next nine is not out of the question, five of them are on home ice, I don't think it will be enough to propel the Caps back into the playoff race. The playoffs are just about done for this team.

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