Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Caps vs. Wild 2-26-2008 Post-Mortem

Can we trade for Federov and Huet again on Friday??? Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Four goals and not a single point tonight for A.O.. Of course that won't last very long but we should mention it as Brooks "and Dunn" Laich ended his time as the second line center with a big bang scoring two goals and registering two assists. Tomas Fleischmann and Eric Fehr also acquitted themselves well as their time on the second line could be coming to an end too. All three players on the second line were a +4.
  • I was glad to see John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles walking on the street outside the Phone Booth at 5:50 pm wearing a coat and tie. Though I think it's a little too late to try to showcase Steve Eminger for a trade.
  • This is the first Caps win since January 19th where the Caps have won by more than one goal. Furthermore, the Caps once again played well for 60 minutes and weren't scrambling to close out the game. We need to keep this up.
  • The Olie Kolzig farewell tour started off on a good note. Kolzig made the saves he should make and the defense stepped up around him and limited the second chances for Minnesota. The one goal he did allow wasn't his fault and there wasn't much of anything anybody could do as it was just a bad bounce for the Caps. Though I will say I would like to see Kolzig get one more shutout and the two more wins he needs to get to 300 before the end of the season.

THE BAD:

  • Kolzig certainly won't see another shutout if he continues to have to face 35 shots on goal. A good number of the shots (especially in the second period) were from long distance along the perimeter. However the goal the Wild scored was shot from long distance and deflected in front.
  • The first "eggs in one basket" line of A.O., Nicklas Backstrom, and Alexander Semin not only went pointless tonight, they also were each a -1. The only players on the team to post a minus tonight. I don't think that is what Bruce Boudreau had in mind when he put this line together.
  • Carolina wins win OT over the Devils so no ground gained tonight.

THE UGLY:

  • Interesting game called tonight by Marc Joannette and Francois St. Laurent. The only reason I mention this was because their "let them play" attitude was witnessed in person by Gary Bettman.

As I said this morning, some timely trades could very easily breathe life into a team and make them play better while standing pat or not getting much could drain a team of morale. It really looked to me like the Caps were playing harder tonight because they felt that the management was trying to help them out by bringing in reinforcements. Conversely, after only picking up Chris Simon, the Wild played like a team distraught that no help is on the way to get them out of their tailspin. Tomorrow night I'll comment more on the trades made today by George McPhee but for now we'll just enjoy a much needed win.

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

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