Sunday, February 24, 2008

Caps vs. Devils 2-24-2008 Post-Mortem

See what good goaltending does for you??? Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • It's been awhile since we can honestly say that the Caps played well for a full 60 minute game. Today we should recognize that the Caps did play well for the entire game.
  • A.O. for once had more shots make it on goal (4) than he had blocked (1) or miss everything (2). He also had the primary assist on Alexander Semin's goal (which extended Semin's goal scoring streak to five games) to move into first place overall in the NHL Scoring race (The first tiebreaker is goals scored followed by fewest games, followed by when the first goal was scored). A.O. was also credited with 5 hits and a faceoff win.
  • Brent Johnson played a good game today. He didn't have much action but when he did, he looked very sharp.

THE BAD:

  • Bounces for one, we didn't get much in the way of breaks today. We certainly handled adversity better today than we did yesterday but still hitting too many posts and not generating enough offense behind A.O. and Semin.
  • Get well soon, please, Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz. While Sami Lepisto may have a bright future in Washington, he's more of a liability right now while he's getting NHL experience. If we weren't trying to make the playoffs, you wouldn't mind so much.
  • While I'm glad that the improved play has brought out improved crowds to Caps games, do we really need to cramp up the concourses with tables every five feet?

THE UGLY:

  • The John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game goes to its namesake for the wonderful check he threw on Brooks "and Dunn" Laich while we were killing a penalty in the third period. Supporting the award was his screening of Johnny on a couple of shots and almost deflecting one Devils' shot into his own net. It made me wonder which team he was playing on today. And do you know what the really good news is folks??? He's signed through next year!!!
  • After holding the Devils to just 10 shots through two periods, the Caps let up and allowed 18 in the third period. And despite dominating the play in overtime, the Caps were outshot in the extra period 3-0.
  • The game winning goal tonight was yet another rebound shot. To the Caps credit, the Devils didn't have many second chances but they got all they needed to win the game.

I know I've said this three games in a row now, but here's another example of what's going to happen should we end up making the playoffs. It's ok to feel frustrated and I wouldn't blame anybody who felt frustrated with the game today. They threw everything they had at the Devils and could only score one goal. They were almost perfect but even then, playing a perfect game would have only led to at best a gimmick win today because this is a regular season game. In the playoffs, you don't skate 4-on-4 and you don't have a chance to win the game with a gimmick. It took all the Caps had just to get a single goal and in some ways they were lucky to get to overtime because after the first period you had a feeling that the Caps would make just one glaring mistake that would cost them the game. That's exactly what ended up happening.

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