Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Caps @ Thrashers 2-13-2008 Post-Mortem

Worst ... possible ... outcome... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • For those who still think we don't shoot the puck enough, 41 shots on goal tonight; 18 in the first period alone.
  • Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green was everywhere tonight. Seriously, defensive zone, neutral zone, offensive zone, he was everywhere tonight. He had an assist and 6 shots on goal but most importantly, he was a +2 which means he wasn't getting burned by being so active.
  • I have to go out on a limb here to say that Olie Kolzig had another solid game. I'm out on the limb because I refuse to watch the gimmick but I read that once again, he didn't make a single save in the exhibition. The good news is that should we make the playoffs, we won't have to worry about Kolzig and the gimmick anymore.

THE BAD:

  • Once again, the Caps weren't willing to pay the price to score goals. There were only a few spurts of activity right in front of the net but for the most part, there were very few rebound shots and even less guys in front looking for the loose change.
  • After a strong first period, the Caps got a lead on a busted play in the second and then let up and allowed Atlanta back into the game. While it is frustrating to take 18 shots in one period and come away with no goals, there's no excuse for trying to sit on a 1-0 lead for almost 40 minutes.
  • I fully understand Bruce Boudreau's reluctance to tinker with a lineup after a win. That's why The Human Bruise, Quintin Laing was scratched again tonight in favor of Matt "Princess" Pettinger but it does not explain why Steve Eminger was scratched in favor of John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles. Shouldn't have Eminger remained in the lineup in light of Sunday's win?

THE UGLY:

  • And speaking of the slow footed and dim-witted defenseman, Erskine Bowles was almost beaten to a puck deep in his own zone by Marian Hossa in the second period. Luckily for Erskine Bowles, Hossa over skated the puck and it ended up on the end of Erskine Bowles' stick. However, Erskine Bowles felt the need to tap the puck directly onto the tape of Hossa who zipped a pass in front to Eric Perrin for Atlanta's first goal. That my friends is tonight's John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Boneheaded Play of the Game.
  • The game was decided by a gimmick.

And now it's a three-way tie atop the Southeast. Too bad Florida was three points back heading into tonight, they could have made it a four-way tie for first. But instead they lost in overtime and sit two points back of the Caps, Canes, and Thrashers with the Caps having a game in hand on all three teams. The Caps remain in the driver's seat because of their game in hand but a chance to put some distance between themselves and their divisional rivals was wasted with a poor effort in the second period. We knocked a point off the magic number to clinch the division tonight but as it stands right now, the Caps lose the tiebreaker because of fewer wins than Atlanta and Carolina (who have identical records BTW) so the magic number to clinch the division does not move. Now we've got to earn some points playing back-to-back games in Florida which hasn't been easy for this team.

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