Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Caps @ Blue Jackets 2-5-2008 Post-Mortem

Get the two points, get on the bus, get out of town... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Tom Poti had an excellent game tonight. His first goal of the season which tied the game, an assist on the game winner in overtime, and 5 blocked shots including one on Michael Peca in the second period which kept the game 2-0. This is what we were expecting when we signed him as a Free Agent last summer.
  • Viktor Kozlov going to the second line got it going for the first time since Michael Nylander's season ended. While he gets killed on faceoffs (he was 1-10 tonight), he sparks Alexander Semin and we need him going.
  • With two more goals tonight, A.O. breaks his tie with Alan Haworth for 24th on the Caps All Time Point Scoring list and moves into a tie with Sylvain Cote for 23rd with 270 points. Up next is Guy Charron who scored 274 points in 320 games from 1976-1981 for the Caps. But back to A.O., this guy is an MVP even if the Caps don't make the playoffs.

THE BAD:

  • Not a whole lot of scrambles and shots from in close tonight. The 18 shots blocked is a testament to how many long distance and perimeter shots we were taking.
  • Way too many shots allowed tonight. While 26 in regulation is a respectable number, the Blue Jackets got 10 shots in both the first and the second period. The 5 shots allowed in overtime is unacceptable. We've got to tighten things up defensively if we really want to make a move to get into the playoffs.
  • Only the first and second lines really worked tonight. The first line took some time incorporating Eric Fehr but it looks to be dangerous as they all get familiar with each other. The second line was the best line for the Caps in the first period but all night long the third and fourth lines contributed very little and spent most of their time chasing the Blue Jackets.

THE UGLY:

  • We've got to take out the opposing goaltender in order to win?
  • We're officially no longer going to talk about "our problem." After tonight "our problem" is out there for the whole world to see and while we've tried talking about "our problem," ripped "our problem," and even went as far as to praise small improvements by "our problem"; nothing seems to work. So now we'll no longer talk about "our problem."
  • And for your conspiracy nuts, Bill McCreary did throw a great check on Shaone Morrrissonnn to let Rick Nash walk in on Brent Johnson to score his second goal of the night. Had we lost the game we would have blamed it entirely on McCreary. However, we won the game and it becomes somewhat moot because we're still wondering just what in the world he was doing in the middle of the ice like that in the first place? That is the hands down winner of the John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Boneheaded Play of the Game.

This was an inter-conference matchup so having to win this game in overtime does not hurt us in the grand scheme of things. We not only need to start winning games in regulation, but we need to stop falling behind before we get things going. I can somewhat understand the slow start because of the shuffling on the top two lines but the problem of secondary scoring continues. Of the four goals the Caps scored tonight, only one was scored by a player not named Alex. Early on we did not deserve to win this game and we got lucky that we did. At this point, we'll take the points by hook or by crook.

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

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