Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Caps @ Hurricanes 3-25-2008 Post-Mortem

A gimmick win that feels like a loss... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Well, as we talked about this morning, the third time was a charm as the Caps thoroughly out played the Canes for large portions of the game. The Caps outshot the Canes in every period, by a count of 6-0 in overtime, and 44-27 for the game.
  • A.O. continued to show why he should win the Hart and Pearson Trophies tonight with his 61st goal of the season. A.O. increased his lead in the Art Ross Race over Evgeni Malkin-Lindros to 5 point (107-102) who was held off the scoresheet for the second consecutive game. However, A.O. was first star of the game tonight because he simply dominated when he was on the ice. A.O. fired 11 shots on goal and had only 1 blocked and 5 miss the net and very easily could have had another four goal night.
  • The Buffaslugs gacked in the third period tonight as did the Panthers so the Caps have a three point lead on both teams. If anything else, it is much needed breathing room.

THE BAD:

  • We know this sounds like a broken record, but we're not so much upset over the calls made on the Caps by Referees Mike Hasenfratz and Dan O'Rourke tonight (with the obvious exception of the Roughing minor A.O. took in the second period. That call was softer than Charmin) as we're livid over the calls they didn't make on Carolina. I believe the Power Play in OT was the only one where Carolina did not commit another blatant penalty that was allowed to go uncalled. I know there's an "unwritten rule" that referees are to give teams already killing a penalty a little more slack but that was not giving a shorthanded team some slack. That was allowing a shorthanded team to gain an unfair advantage.
  • The Flyers earned an OT win and the Bruins trounced the Leafs so the Caps made no progress in chasing the 8th seed and with the Bettman Point going to Carolina tonight, the Caps only cut the Canes lead to 4 points despite "winning" the game.

THE UGLY:

  • The John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Move of the Game goes to Head Coach Bruce Boudreau for his curious decision not to put Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green on the ice for the start of the Caps Power Play in OT. We don't disagree going with Four Forwards nor we have issues with the Four Forwards he chose. What we don't understand is why he left a guy with two Power Play OT goals already this season on the bench after he called a timeout.
  • The video evidence to overturn a call made on the ice MUST be conclusive. The angles shown by Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic were not conclusive and it is now incumbent upon the NHL to release the footage that they used to determine that Eric Cole's game tying goal was properly scored. And even if the goal was properly scored, we would like to know why Cole was not assessed a two minute minor penalty that would have had the goal washed out because of goaltender interference. Cole was going to make contact with Cristobal "WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE" Huet in UA's crease before Shaone Morrrissonnn made contact with Cole. Not only did video replay make a bad call (provided they don't release the footage that they used to clearly see the puck over the goal line) but it was compounded further by another blow call by the refs tonight.
  • The game was decided by a gimmick.

With the way the Caps played tonight, they deserved a better fate. Playoff hopes are dimming every day as the Caps are simply running out of time to make up the ground that they need to. The Caps are pulling away from the teams in 10th, 11th, and 12th place which is a positive but whether or not they end up in 9th or 12th, the result will be the same. No playoffs for the Caps this year. So the road trip now continues on but you have to wonder what the motivation is going to be as the reality of missing the playoffs becomes clearer and clearer.

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

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