Thursday, November 15, 2007

Caps @ Panthers 11-15-2007 Post-Mortem

What? Were you expecting something different??? Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • And the obligatory A.O. update tells us that A.O. is now 8 points behind Gaetan Duschesne on the Caps All-Time scoring list and if you watched the local broadcast, you know he's now tied with Craig Laughlin for 22nd on the Caps All-Time goals list with 110.
  • Ottawa beat the Buffaslugs tonight so we're still tied for last overall in the Eastern Conference and NHL.
  • Only one Power Play allowed tonight and the call on Jeff Schultz in the third period reeked of a being make-up call.
  • Not only did the Caps keep the Panthers to 25 shots on goal for the entire game, they kept them under double digits in all three periods tonight.

THE BAD:

  • The Power Play went 0 for 4 with just five shots on goal. Not only is the Power Play entirely too predictable, but it only looks dangerous when somebody decides to make a play on their own.
  • 10 missed shots and 13 missing everything. Compared to the 27 that did make it on goal. While this is a better ratio than we've seen in recent games, it is still too many shots being blocked and missing everything.
  • And speaking of shots, while 10 shots on goal is a respectable number in the third period, it isn't enough when you're trailing by a goal and facing a team who has blown leads in the last minutes of the third period.

THE UGLY:

  • The word "desperation" came out yesterday from Unofficial Captain Olie Kolzig and let's be honest here; the Caps did not under any circumstances play like a desperate hockey team tonight. This is the same kind of game we've been seeing for the past few weeks out of this team.

With the offense totally lost right now, every single defensive and goaltending mistake is being to be magnified. While the shots against and goals against are better than they have been since the end of the lockout, it still ends up not being enough. What we're seeing here is a team asking a young blueline and aging goaltender to carry this team. The blueline is gaining experience and getting better and I really don't have any complaints about Kolzig right now. But this is a team being crushed by the weight of high expectations and hampered by a coach who has run out of ideas. A.O. played 7:22 out of 8 minutes of Power Play time tonight and was only bested by Tom Poti for the most ice time on the Caps tonight. Everybody and their second cousins know A.O. is option A, B, and C not just on the Power Play, but whenever he's on the ice. Sitting around waiting for Alexander Semin to come back is not a viable option. Yet I see no evidence that Glen Hanlon is trying to develop another scoring option other than A.O. This why this team needs a change behind the bench and soon.

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