Saturday, November 08, 2008

Caps vs. Rangers 11-8-2008 Post-Mortem

Ok, maybe there is a goalie controversy... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • There was a Power Play goal scored by the Caps tonight and it wasn't Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green scoring it either!
  • Special note for all the Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz haters out there, his defensive play late in the game set up Alexander Semin's long range empty net goal which is why he earned an assist. He may not run people over but is a lot more responsible in his own zone than some other stay-at-home-defensemen on this team.
  • While he didn't factor in the scoresheet, Eric Fehr played a solid game tonight after sitting out the last five games and tried to take advantage of being in the lineup.

THE BAD:

  • They say a two goal lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey and at times tonight, it looked as if the Caps were going to try to sit on that lead for two periods. If we can be nit-pickers here; we must take full advantage of periods where we dominate like we did in the first period tonight. Don't get us wrong, a 2-0 lead isn't nothing, but this overpassing needs to end when prime scoring opportunities are present.
  • While the Rangers were taking away the boards for our clearing attempts, it still doesn't excuse the consistent turnovers at our own blueline.
  • When was the last time you saw A.O. alone between the hash marks with the puck on his stick and he passed the puck? He's afraid to shoot right now, that's why he isn't scoring goals.

THE UGLY:

  • While some might forgive him for icing the game with his empty net goal, Alexander Semin's stupid tripping call with 2:15 left almost cost us a regulation win tonight. Semin actually stopped skating to go back and put his stick in Scott Gomez's skates on that play. It was unnecessary, stupid, and an easy call for the referees to make and is the John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game.
  • Though why was it up to Semin to clean out the front of the net when Brent Johnson was getting whacked?
  • We admit that we're getting old and our eyesight isn't what it used to be, but we could have sworn that we saw Markus Nasuld's name among the scratches for the Rangers tonight. Are we going senile or was some sort of SNAFU?

To belabor the point about A.O. not shooting the puck, he is a player who has averaged over 5 shots per game over his career but is currently averaging just 4.5 so far this season. He still leads the team in shots on goal, but only by two over Mike Green. A.O. has an amazing shot and while it is good that he is looking for passes more (it makes him harder to defend), he clearly doesn't trust his shot right now which is why he's passing up prime opportunities like his chance between the hash marks in the first period. The only way he is going to get out of this slump is to shoot the puck and it looked as if Bruce Boudreau told him to do exactly that in the second intermission. If the Caps can get A.O. rolling, everything else could take care of itself.

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

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