Saturday, October 13, 2007

Caps @ Buffaslugs 10-13-2007 Post-Mortem

Don't worry Cox Subscribers, you didn't miss very much... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • A.O. continued his point streak to the start the season and has now passed the Secretary of Defense, Rod Langway, for 29th on the Caps All-Time scoring ledger. Next up at 28th is Dino Ciccarelli with 209 points.
  • The Caps were 39-26 on faceoffs tonight, winning 60%


  • While it is way too early to call the free agent signings of Viktor Kozlov, Michael Nylander, and especially Tom Poti a bust, the Caps could not handle the Buffaslugs forechecking pressure tonight. These three guys, especially Poti, were brought in for their ability to handle the puck and retain possession, yet the if the Caps were not turning the puck over at their own blueline, they were turning it over in the neutral zone all night along. That more than anything else is the biggest reason why the Caps had only 10 shots through the first two periods and only 26 for the game.
  • The Caps inability to handle the Buffaslug forecheck also led to the Buffaslugs getting 24 shots in the second period alone. That right there is a game's worth of shots in only 20 minutes. While Brent Johnson admirably handled the onslaught for about 35 minutes, it was only matter of time before the floodgates opened up. Johnny giving up a soft goal (which turned out to be the game winner) didn't help either.
  • The Penalty Box Parade continued tonight and boy did the Caps pay for it. The Buffaslugs were 2 for 7 and had two long 5-on-3's.


  • As bad as it is to give up 53 shots on goal, it is even worse to give up 7 goals. Everytime the Caps tried to mount a comeback, the Buffaslugs scored again and any momentum was lost. While blaming Johnny for this game would be way out of line, he did not come up with the big saves late in the game when the Caps needed them the most.

I think I can safely say that whatever positives the Caps earned last weekend has been all but erased by this weekend. The transition game is still in tatters and as long as the Caps continue to be unable breakout of their own zone under control, this team is going to have a very tough time making the playoffs and forget about winning in the postseason. Sometimes the defensemen hold onto the puck too long, sometimes the forwards fumble passes or cough up the puck too easily, sometimes the passes from the defensemen are way off the mark. We saw this all of last season and just watched sixty minutes of it again tonight. The sad part about this is that the Caps effort was rather good tonight. There was some jump in their skates and the intensity was good. But the big problem was that the Buffaslugs were everywhere tonight. Until the goal barrage began I was thinking that the Buffaslugs were working harder while the Caps were working smarter at least on defense. But the Buffaslugs have too much talent and Caps gave them too much rope tonight.



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