Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Caps vs. Thrashers 11-21-2007 Post-Mortem

It just can't come soon enough... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Jeff Schultz won the only faceoff he took tonight (he was however on the ice for three of the five Atlanta goals).
  • I've been waiting for years for that infernal Hockey Song to be booed. Tonight it finally was... I'm a Happy Camper...

THE BAD:
  • A 0-0 tie after the first period was about the high point of this hockey game. Sure, getting out to a 1-0 lead was nice, but you knew what was coming next.
  • Ok, I promise I won't harp on the blocked and missed shots for just one night tonight but I will make special mention of one of the points of emphasis from yesterday's practice, turnovers. 20 giveaways tonight. Six by Alexander Semin himself.
  • The Penalty Killers were 2 for 4 tonight and shockingly easy to be broken down too by the Atlanta Power Play.
  • Wes Johnson, the Caps Public Address Announcer, was as off his game as the Caps were when he announced a Penalty on the Ning in the third period.

THE UGLY:

  • The Power Play was 1 for 6, blew yet another 5-on-3 (27 seconds and no shots on goal though at least Glen Hanlon didn't blow the timeout again before the exercise in futility began) and once again scored because A.O. made a great individual play.
  • I laughed as hard as I've laughed in a long time when Hanlon deployed a Power Play unit that did not contain A.O. or Semin late in the third period. While there was finally some rather nice passing on the Power Play, the Caps looked as lost I have seen them on the Power Play because not a single player on the ice knew who was supposed to shoot the puck without A.O. or Semin out there to take the shot.
  • The other point of emphasis yesterday, shorter shifts, broke down like this for the forwards, A.O. 1:08, Viktor Kozlov 1:05, Captain Chris Clark 1:00, Semin :59, and Michael Nylander :54. Those may be skewed by the 10:49 of Power Play time the Caps had tonight but something tells me, it still isn't supposed to be that skewed.

The players have been saying that the coaches are not the problem. They say that the coaches prepare them well and that they have installed a good system for them. The players insist it is a problem of execution that is causing all the problems. However watching his hockey team, you do not get a sense that these players are worried about their coach getting fired. On the contrary, a good number of the players are playing like they want him to be. So the only question left to ask now is when?

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