Sunday, March 09, 2008

Caps vs. Penguin Scum 3-9-2008 Post-Mortem

Well, both teams scored three goals... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • 12:30 pm start time did a good job in cutting down on the drunken buffonery because there was no way to be smashed for faceoff without passing out. The flip of this is that because they were forced to be sober, we got to see those jerks in their natural state.
  • 33 shots on goal in the first two periods and 38 total for the game versus 13 through the first two and 26 for the game. Simply put, we did what we needed to in order to win the game.
  • I was interested to see how Matt Kent Cooke would matchup on the Canadian Diving Team Captain, Secondary Assist Cindy Crobsy and while it wasn't the matchup we were looking for, I thought he did a good job of being a pest to her when he had the chance.

THE BAD:

  • Just when I think people can't get any dumber, I have a person before the game trying to convince me that Bhawlmuher is about as far away from D.C. as Pittsburgh is.
  • For about 15 seconds in the second period, the Caps for some reason deployed only four skaters despite not having a soul in the penalty box and this isn't the first time this season I've seen the Caps do this.
  • Paul Devorski and Don Van Massenhoven called an interesting game to say the least today with each team getting away with plenty. Though you do have to like Jarkko Ruuttu being allowed to launch himself into Caps about four times before finally being called for charging the one time he stays on his skates when making contact.

THE UGLY:

  • Well folks, it's been a fine rookie season for Nicklas Backstrom. A season that would earn him Rookie-of-the Year honors if it weren't for an Original Six Franchise Rehabilitation Project going on right now. Furthermore, Backstrom is going to be a solid player for the Caps for years to come but today it is only fair that he has to accept the John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game Award because he earned it.

If I didn't know any better, I would think that this team is self-destructing at the wrong time. But that isn't the case because while many Caps fans have dreamed, this isn't playoff team so if anything, the Caps are reverting to their true form. I've maintained from the start of last season that this wasn't a playoff team and right now it is going to take not only an unimaginable hot streak but a large amount of help from other teams as well in order for the Caps final homestand to mean anything. You can easily see that this team is getting there but we aren't quite there yet because both losses this weekend were classic definitions of beating yourself; one moreso than the other. It's also very easy to forget just how young this team is sometimes and at this time last year the players were complaining about the lack of talent on the team. There's more talent now but the big problem with a young team is the lack of polish. That polish is only going to come with time and, unfortunately, having to play games like this one today. Finally, if you happen to believe that the Penguin Scum are Stanley Cup contenders (which I don't BTW), you can certainly take away that they needed an own goal in the final minute in order to dispatch a team not making the playoffs this year especially if you look at what is happening to teams like Tampa, Los Angeles, and Toronto. The real test for the Caps now is to see how they pull together for these final games after two tough losses that has all but eliminated all hopes of making the playoffs.

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