Monday, December 17, 2007

Caps @ Red Wings 12-17-2007 Post-Mortem

New coach, same old results... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • If you've ever wondered why the Neutral Zone trap was invented, it was for situations such as this where one team is completely outclassed by another in terms of talent on the ice. It also helped that Detroit didn't seem to have much jump in their skates tonight too.
  • Though since Bruce Boudreau took over, the Caps have become a more resilient team. After giving up the go-ahead goal to the Red Wings with under five minutes left, the Caps were able to get the tying goal on Alexander Semin's shot just over three minutes later. That more than anything else is what earned the point tonight.
  • It looked to me as if Shaone Morrrissonnn and Milan Jurcina had strong games tonight with each coming up with goal saving plays.

THE BAD:

  • The special teams tonight certainly were "special." While the Power Play was officially 2 for 7, you can hardly attribute A.O.'s Power Play Goal to anything the unit did other than Michael Nylander cleanly winning a faceoff. That means they went 1 for 6 and came up with the big goal that was needed to force overtime. However, on more than one occasion Detroit had dangerous shorthanded chances. The Penalty Killers were 2 for 4.
  • Ed Olczyk was brutal doing color in the booth. His constant references to the 245 year-old Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios as the "elder skatesman" weren't pithy or cute at all and became just annoying after about the 500th time he said it.
  • I Susan O'Malley has landed on her feet in Detroit. 19,483 out of 20,066 my left foot. I thought hockey fans were clamoring to see players like A.O. more often? Maybe the Hockeytown fans are waiting for his second appearance?

THE UGLY:

  • Versus better hope that the FCC wasn't watching tonight or that none of the thousands of fans watching on TV bother calling in a complaint about Chelios' potty mouth letting an unmentionable word fly out over the air in the first period. As a matter of fact, it wasn't until the third period until I realized it was Chelios who let the expletive go and was miced up. Says a lot too about how raucous the crowd was at the Joe Louis Arena that Chelios's colorful language could be so easily picked up.
  • I see through the AP early write up that Olie Kolzig was beaten on all three Red Wings shots by the exact same move. It's a shame that Olie fell apart like that at the end because he had a rather strong game.
  • But of course Kolzig getting embarrassed like that meant that the game was decided by a gimmick.

At points in time tonight you almost got the feeling that the Red Wings were just toying with the Caps. That at any point they were going to turn it on and blow the Caps out of the building. It wasn't too much of a surprise when Tomas Holmstrom scored in the third period to stake the Red Wings to a 3-2 lead. When the game went to overtime, I had a feeling that the 4 on 4 play would give the Red Wings a big advantage and it did as the Caps were on their heels in the extra session. I can't fault the Caps effort too much tonight and I thought they overall played a pretty decent game 5 on 5. It was when the game got away from 5 on 5 that the Caps really struggled. But we'll take the point and move on because that's life in the NHL these days.

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