Thursday, November 01, 2007

Caps @ Rangers 11-1-2007 Post-Mortem

Well, what can you do? Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • For those of you think that the Caps just don't shoot the darn puck enough; the Caps had 31 shots on goal, another 30 blocked, and 9 shots go wide tonight. That's 70 pulls of the trigger. If anything, the fact that the Caps got 31 of 70 attempts through is a testament to their perseverance tonight against an excellent Rangers' defensive effort.
  • Give Olie Kolzig credit too, he did his best to keep the team in the game with 28 saves despite the team not getting anything past Henrik Lundqvist. There was nothing he could about either goal given up and was once again robbed of a star.
  • Viktor Kozlov had a good night getting off eight shots on goal and winning half of his faceoffs.

THE BAD:

  • John Erskine Bowles with a weak clearing attempt that ended up in the back of our net as the game winning goal. Why hasn't Steve Eminger been given a chance yet?
  • And did you notice Erskine-Bowles took one of the two penalties that led to the 5-0n-3 goal?

THE UGLY:

  • The Power Play was 0 for 4 tonight with 8 shots. But we're picking on the Power Play again for two reasons. #1. While they did generate 8 shots and put some heavy pressure on the Rangers late in game, they were unable to establish themselves early in the game when the Caps could have used a 1-0 lead. #2. The Rangers attacked every chance they got shorthanded when A.O. was on the point. While A.O. is now teamed with Brian Pothier because of Alexander Semin's injury (and A.O. is playing the best defensive hockey of his career) it is still playing with fire. I also question the use of our best shooter on the point when a guy like Milan Jurcina has a heavy shot if not an offensive mindset (Scott Stevens used to man a Power Play point for us many years ago). Teams have adjusted to the new setup and we'll have to come up with something else to get the Power Play going in the right direction.
  • Tomas Fleischmann looked like a boy trying to play with men tonight.

This is one of those games where you chalk it up to running into a hot goalie. Sure the Caps could have fought a little harder for some of the rebounds but Lundqvist was there anyway. The Caps played much better tonight than they did the last time they were in MSG but still came away with a two goal loss. While the Caps need wins, the need to provide a consistent effort more and an effort like tonight's is going to eventually yield more wins than losses. So tip your cap to the Rangers and Lundqvist specifically for a job well done tonight.

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