Sunday, January 13, 2008

Caps vs. Flyers 1-13-2008 Post-Mortem

So much for the 5-0 homestand... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • It certainly seems as if the "never say die" attitude has returned full-time under Bruce Boudreau so at least we're making the games we play poorly in interesting.

THE BAD:

  • I would mention 15 shots on goal in the first period as a good thing but we gave up 13 shots and allowed 2 goals. This isn't a run and gun team with a goaltender we can hang out to dry and expect to bail us out. We don't have the offensive firepower to consistently win shootouts and the goaltending has been shaky all year.
  • In fairness to Olie Kolzig, his yanking today had more to do with the play of the team in front of him than anything he did in between the pipes. While his play wasn't stellar and Brent Johnson ended up giving us the save that we needed to turn the momentum around, Kolzig should be given a bit of a pass on this one today, especially the one off Milan Jurcina's stick that chased him from the game.
  • And speaking of Jurcina, why was he listed as a healthy scratch before the game? This is the second game in a row where a player was listed as a scratch but played in the game. Though we might have been better off if Jerky had been scratched. He was a -2 today.
  • While the Penalty Killers were facing the second best Power Play unit in the league, they flubbed way too many clearing chances, especially on the Flyers' first Power Play, and made things much for difficult for themselves.

THE UGLY:

  • What can I say about our dismal Power Play that I haven't said before? First unit playing too much? Check. Giving up a shorthanded goal? Check. Going 0 for 5 or worse? Check. Not even averaging one shot per Power Play? Check. Taking a penalty to kill the Power Play for the other team? Check. I think the only thing they were missing was not being able to establish position in the offensive zone. They did do that, but not much else.
  • Oh if only those rumors about Michael Nylander undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery were true. I don't think I'll miss his lazy penalties, turnovers at the blueline, ineffective backchecking, and refusal to shoot consistently. The fact that he was only a -1 despite being on the ice for 3 of the Flyers six goals shows what an enigma he is.
  • And speaking of enigma's I can somewhat understand David "Bolt Cutter" Steckel passing the puck back despite having a clear lane to the net. Steckel isn't used to having any kind of breakaway so he likely didn't know what to do. But for the life of me, why Alexander Semin when he has a clear lane to the net thinks to pass the puck back for the first time all game to Nylander of all people...
  • Welcome back to the lineup Tom Poti and thank you for the -3 effort. Why did we sign you again?
  • Oh while we did get 32 shots on goal, 19 of them were blocked but 21 out right misses. For those of you who think we don't shoot enough, look at today's game.

Sometimes you can get away with being cute but most of the time, you have to be willing to do things the ugly way. While Wednesday night's game was ugly and tough to watch, it worked as the Caps got a 2-1 victory. Today we tried to be too cute too often and we end up losing 6-4. In some ways it looks as if this is still a team that is trying to find their identity. Just as long as we don't slide back down to 30th, I won't complain too much.

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