Saturday, February 02, 2008

Caps vs. Thrashers 2-2-2008 Post-Mortem

Is this April??? Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Olie Kolzig had an easy night seeing only 12 shots on goal. A far cry from the 30+ he's been regularly seeing the past few seasons. The one goal he did give up wasn't much his fault.
  • For those of you who think we don't shoot the puck enough (you know who you are), 36 shots on goal tonight with half of them coming in the third period alone.

THE BAD:

  • Of those 36 shots on goal, maybe 6 of them were from in front of the net? I don't have a total count but there were a lot of perimeter shots taken tonight and very few attempts to score the "ugly" goal.
  • A.O. had 7 shots on goal all by himself tonight, Nicklas Backstrom had 6, but everybody is going to remember A.O.'s missing the open net in the first period. By all rights the Caps should have been up 3-0 maybe even 4-0 after the second period.
  • Alexander Semin on the other hand had only 3 shots on goal (Shaone Morrrissonnn had 4 himself) and took two costly penalties tonight. Though I do give him good marks for his Penalty Killing tonight. It showed me that Semin's lack of defensive skill is more about a lack of desire than a lack of talent.

THE UGLY:

  • Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green tripped not once, not twice, but three times on his own blueline tonight when he had possession of the puck. It was sheer luck that kept those blunders from turning into goals against.
  • What was the deal with not putting the Carolina-Pittsburgh score up on the Out-of-Town Scoreboard? That was just as puzzling as the brilliant marketing idea to have a Kids Night and a Bar Crawl on the same night.

Watching tonight's game, you kept waiting for the Caps to score a goal but had a feeling in the back of your mind that it just wasn't going to happen. So now for the second time in three games since the playoff crunch started, the Caps have been shut out. This is not a good a trend and while A.O. is a good player, he needs some help and there was precious little of it outside of his own line. But what should scare just about every Caps fan is that this is the type of game we're going to have to win not only in the playoffs should we make them, but regularly until the playoffs start in April. The Caps looked like a team that was defensively capable of shutting things down but offensively was not ready, not willing, and not able to pay the price to score goals and win the game. That has to change if we even want to think about making the playoffs. What A.O. did with a broken nose, slashed face, and bleeding mouth on Thursday needs to be done by everybody on the team and nobody was willing to follow A.O.'s example tonight.

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