Friday, February 08, 2008

Caps vs. Hurricanes 2-8-2008 Post-Mortem

Easy come, easy go... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • "Win and they will come" Well, the Caps didn't win tonight and have actually lost their last two home games but there was a great crowd tonight, spurred mostly by the College Rush. My vast network of spies and informants tell me that even though the Caps were claiming a sellout, about 350 tickets were still in the system at the drop of the puck. Dishonest Abe's Club Seats were also being sold for half price tonight to the walkup crowd. But despite the promotions and discounts, the fact that people showed up looking for a good hockey game tonight is a good thing.
  • The Penalty Killers were a perfect 5 for 5 tonight.
  • Have our wishes been granted? John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles had only two shifts and skated a total of 2:07 tonight. Could Steve Eminger return to the lineup on Sunday and rescind his trade request? We can only hope...

THE BAD:

  • 20 blocked shots and 18 total misses. You can't claim we don't shoot enough but you have a legitimate gripe about our shot selection.
  • For awhile there it looked as if we were going to be shutout for the second consecutive home game. Once the game settled down, there wasn't much in the way of effort to get to second chances and rebounds.
  • Mr. Donald Brashear took it upon himself to try to get the team going at the end of the second period and ended up with a double minor for his trouble. Not exactly the spark he was looking to create.

THE UGLY:

  • Ray Whitney with four penalties tonight and a -1. At least he was playing us...
  • I know what you're expecting but remember, we aren't talking about "our problem" even if "our problem" lead to three of the Canes seven shots on goal in the third period from the Canes own zone.
  • Bruce Boudreau was going to get the John "Coach's Pet" Boneheaded Move of the Game for mixing up his lines in the first period. I first thought that Eric Fehr was injured but I then remembered that this was the third game in four nights; he may not have the legs to keep up with A.O. and Nicklas Backstrom yet.

As I said this morning, we needed to win this game but losing it is not a disaster. We're one point back with a game in hand on Carolina with three head-to-head matchups left to play. I was posting the "magic number" to illustrate just how much work still needed to be done. I think part of the problem for the Caps tonight was the surge of electricity from the crowd at the start of the game. Don't get me wrong, it's great that people are coming out to watch the Caps play but there was all kinds of talk today about the Caps' inexperience with a playoff race. Tonight the Caps got their first lesson and considering the outcome, did ok. They certainly could have done better but it just wasn't in the cards tonight with them playing their third game in four nights in their third different city against an opponent with two days worth of rest. The schedule doesn't get any easier either so buckle up folks, because no matter how it turns out, it is going to be a bumpy ride.

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