Sunday, February 10, 2008

Caps vs. Rangers 2-10-2008 Post-Mortem

Ever get that Deja Vu feeling??? Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Once again the guys not named A.O. scored more than one goal between them. Never mind that A.O. had the primary assist on both Boyd Gordon and Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green's goals; the fact that somebody else put them into the net is very much needed.
  • And speaking of Green, he was all over the ice today. Threw a nice open ice hit on Sean Avery was constantly jumping up in the offensive zone without getting caught back on defense. Oh, and just his third overtime goal of the season as well.
  • The Penalty Killers came up big again today going 6 for 6.

THE BAD:

  • 33 shots on goal allowed today is too many. I know that the CW is that Olie Kolzig thrives on a high shot total but we can't continue to give up this many shots and expect to win.
  • 22 shots on goal of our own. 15 more were blocked and another 13 missed everything again. The worst part is that three of the shots on goal were rung up from our own zone when we cleared pucks Penalty Killing.
  • We got killed again in the faceoff circle going 23-33. We can't blame Viktor Kozlov either because he took only one faceoff the entire game (which he lost).

THE UGLY:

  • Referee Mike Hasenfratz was awful today. A quick whistle in first period bailed out Stephen Valiquette and then he spent the rest of the afternoon ignoring infraction after infraction committed by the Rangers right in front of him. The Caps had only half the Power Plays that the Rangers did this afternoon and they should have had more.
  • A.O. posts a goal, two assists, throws 5 hits, and has 3 takaways and can't get named one of the 3 Stars of the Game? Have we gotten spoiled by A.O. who is now tied for 22nd with Guy Charron on the Caps All-Time Scoring list and just two points behind Bobby Gould for 21st and three points behind Ryan Walter for 20th?
  • I'll concede that Olie Kolzig played a good game and came up with some saves today that he hadn't been making recently. But if he's wondering why we don't trust him in the big games, look at some of what else he did today; he tripped his own defenseman going behind the net to retrieve a puck (Steve Eminger), he poke checked a puck off the stick of a forward who was trying to move the puck out of his own zone (Nicklas Backstrom), and his inability to control a rebound not only directly lead to the second Rangers' goal but also put one of his own players in the Penalty Box (Brooks Laich). To top off what was considered to be a #1 star performance, Olie Kolzig then shoots a puck over the glass after Mike Green lays out Sean Avery with a clean open ice hit. Instead of picking up the momentum, the Caps had to kill a penalty late in a tied game. While Kolzig's penalty was killed off and no real harm was done; that untimely and unforced error earns Kolzig the John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Boneheaded Play of the Game.

Another day, another OT win. This more than anything else is why the Caps have to win the Southeast Division if they want to make the playoffs. The Rangers were in 7th place heading into today's game and 5 points ahead of the Caps. Yet the Caps only shaved one point off the lead instead of two because of the overtime loss. I should also mention that the third period was once again another "let's protect the point that we have" demonstration. If the NHL is really interested in spicing up these games, they'll either do away with the stupid overtime point system or adopt a point system similar to what soccer leagues do. Either way it's good to see the Caps get another win and vault themselves back into first place.

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

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