Saturday, January 19, 2008

Caps vs. Panthers 1-19-2008 Post-Mortem

There's just so much wrong with this one... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Nicklas Backstrom with what amounts to, at least in my mind, a quiet four point night. All assists; three of them secondary (the NHLPA must not have approved Gary Bettman's gesture).
  • We have another Viktor Kozlov sighting! Not just one, but TWO goals tonight! At home too!
  • Forget A.O.'s goal and an assist that brings him within 11 points of Alan Haworth for 24th on the Caps All-Time Points list, watch how he single handedly killed off the final minute of the game tonight. That alone was an impressive performance and should put to bed any notions anybody might have had that A.O. is NOT a complete player. At the All-Star break last year, Caps management caused a stir among the fans by pointing out his defensive deficiencies and stressing that he needed to improve his defense in order to help lead this team to a Stanley Cup. Now less than a year later, while there is still some work that needs to be done, there is no doubt that he belongs on the ice in the final minute of the game with the Caps protecting a lead. I could certainly get used to watching this guy do this for the next 13 years and am I ever glad that he's on our side.

THE BAD:

  • First Tomas Fleischmann went down, limped to the bench, went to the locker room, but came back. Then Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz took a puck in the leg, limped to the bench, went to the locker room, but came back. Finally, Shaone Morrrissonnn took a puck in the leg, limped to the bench, went to the locker room, and did not come back. But what really bugs me is that Michael Nylander is done for the season, Captain Chris Clark has been injured more than he's been healthy, Quintin Laing is a walking bruise, Tom Poti is still struggling with an injury, Brian Pothier is out indefinitely with a concussion, and three more guys got nicked up tonight; but you mean to tell me that there's no injury than can get John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles out of the lineup for us?
  • And speaking of Sergeant Schultz, I thought Murphy's Law was coming into play when he went down because he was supposed to be scratched tonight in favor of Steve Eminger.
  • Did anybody else notice that in the second period the only penalty we killed off was the one Erskine Bowles took? Coincidence? I think not!

THE UGLY:

  • Up 3-0 nothing less than 12 minutes into the game, there's no reason on Earth why you end up tied at any point in the game. It's almost as if we can't handle success and need adversity in order to excel.
  • Just before we took the Too Many Men on the Ice penalty in the second period, there was about a 10 second run where we had only 4 skaters on the ice but nobody in the Penalty Box. So we went from one extreme to another there. I'm only mentioning this because I remember when Bruce Cassidy (and the Sundance Kid) was the head coach, we were told all the time how Too Many Men penalties was the fault of the coach. However, since Cassidy was fired, I haven't heard that ever again. I wonder why?
  • Somehow Rob Martell and Brad Meier gave each team 6 Power Plays tonight but the only consistent thing about their officiating was their inconsistency.

When Matt "Princess" Pettinger took a lazy penalty Tuesday night against Ottawa, he ended up getting benched for all intents and purposes. Yet when Erskine Bowles took his amazingly bad holding penalty in the first period tonight, he didn't miss very many shifts. While some of that had to do with the injury to Morrrissonnn it is becoming rather disturbing watching this slow-footed, dim-witted guy play so much. It is almost to the point where you can watch his trade value drop with every shift but I don't think he has any trade value. And remember folks, he scored a goal and is currently credited with being a +2 for tonight. Ok with that rant over I do want to mention that I thought on a couple of key occasions tonight that Brent Johnson made saves that Olie Kolzig has not been making lately. I'm not trying to start a goaltender controversy here after just one game, but if Johnson keeps this up on a consistent basis (which has been his problem in the past) then one could develop.

It has been... A TWO POINT NIGHT!!!

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