Sunday, March 16, 2008

Caps vs. Bruins 3-16-2008 Post-Mortem

Well, this is Holy Week... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • I had a feeling that the Caps would climb back into the playoff picture and with nine games to go we're two points away from the Flyers for 8th in the Eastern Conference and as of right now it looks as if we would have the tiebreaker on them because we have the same number of wins (Philly has two more overtime/gimmick losses) and one more than the Buffaslugs who are one point ahead of us.

THE BAD:

  • Well, first Carolina and Florida both won, so we're still tied with the Panthers (and in third place on the tiebreaker) and did not gain any ground on the Canes. Furthermore, Evgeni Malkin-Lindros had four points today and now trails A.O. (who had an eight game point streak snapped) by two points.
  • Good thing Cristobal "WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE" Huet has a save percentage in the Top Ten and a good record against the Bruins. He faced 40 shots in the run of play today and certainly earned his paycheck. For a Bruins team that has been struggling to score, that is not only giving up too many shots but playing with fire.
  • You could be forgiven for thinking that today's game was officiated by Chris Rooney and Rob Martell but it was actually fouled up by Greg Kimmerly and Marc Joanette. Two missed calls lead to Boston scoring a goal and my personal favorite was the diving penalty assessed to A.O. in the third period. A.O. does not have a reputation of being a diver and I wonder just what Kimmerly was thinking when he made that call.

THE UGLY:

  • Last game I praised Alexander Semin for his improved play since Sergei (#3) Fedorov arrived. Well, I spoke too soon. Semin had another one of his games today and earns today's John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game Award for his marvelous stickhandling through the entire Bruins defense putting goaltender Alex Auld into a split and then instead of scoring the go-ahead goal, he unselfishly dished it off to the side of the net for Mr. Donald Brashear to flub.
  • Though in fairness to Semin (who scored in the gimmick I see) he wasn't the only player to have a worthless game today. Viktor Kozlov had a wretched game today too. His worst performance since being promoted to the first line. Thankfully Captain Chris Clark is due back this week and can return to that spot.
  • The game was decided by a gimmick.

Ok, you can look at today's game as taking advantage of an opportunity presented to them when the Flyers lost big time to the Penguin Scum. Furthermore, the Caps have been playing "playoff like games" for a month and a half now so a performance where the desire and hunger does not show can not only be excused but expected in some ways. However, the Caps picked a bad time to do it. They finished off an important homestand a 3-1 but needed a gimmick to come away with the last two points. The Caps now head out on their last and longest road trip this week and won't be back home until April 1st. The Caps have made things interesting again but are going to need more help and much better efforts if they want to still be realistically in the picture when they come home.

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

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