Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Caps vs. Panthers 12-2-2008 Post-Mortem

Trust us, you didn't want to see this one anyway. We didn't... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Nicklas Backstrom who had a goal (which deflected in off a defenseman, seemed to be a theme for tonight) and an assist.
  • A.O. with a nice heads up feed to Tomas Fleischmann, who was actually able to finish off the play, to make the game somewhat interesting at the end.
  • The Power Play was 2 for 4 tonight but we give credit to the unit tonight because they actually gave the Caps some life in the third period and sparked the rally.

THE BAD:

  • We are quickly souring on Sami Lepisto who, despite getting another assist tonight and ending the evening even, was burned time and time again and kept coughing up the puck tonight. We'd venture to say that he should return to Hershey when one of the injured defensemen return before Bryan Helmer is sent back.
  • Tyler Sloan had a tough night too. Though instead of simply getting burned by faster players (or guys simply moving their feet) Sloan was getting caught out of position all night and got burned on what turned out to be the game winning goal by Radek Dvorak. Though his aggressive mistakes are something we can live with as his lack of positioning on several occasions were a result of trying to make something happen.
  • Once again, despite the points they put up tonight (5) , the top line of Backstrom, A.O., and Viktor Kozlov all turn in a -2 performance. They're all -4 over their last two games now.

THE UGLY:

  • That second period was about as bad of hockey as we've ever seen out of the Capitals and we sat through games played by the Post-Firesale squad that was better than the effort we saw tonight.
  • 22 blocked shots for Florida tonight. Does anybody know what a shooting lane is?
  • While Florida picked up their intensity at the start of the second period, they really didn't get flying around until David "Bolt Cutter" Steckel passed up an opportunity for a clear on a penalty kill and tried to pass the puck to Shaone Morrrissonnn to kill an extra second or two. Instead Steckel killed the entire A.O. goaltender interference penalty as his wayward pass hit Karl "Malden" Alzner's skates and went into the net to give Florida a 2-1 lead. That our friends is the Captain Obvious John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game.

It's December so the "blah" part of the schedule has arrived as we're two months into the season so the rush of a new season has worn off and the playoff push really doesn't start for another two months. The Caps play tonight was as dead as the crowd was despite having an Ice Girls...er...Dance Team (why praytel do they have a routine for the infernal Hockey Song???)...er... Spirit Squad to get things going and bring energy and excitement to the Phone Booth. Not even the Horn Guy or Goat were into this snoozefest of a game. And despite all of that, the Caps were still able to get out to a 1-0 lead in the first period. However as noted earlier the Caps didn't really pick up their intensity until Jay Bouwmeester's interference penalty seven minutes into the third period. The problem was the Panthers had picked up their intensity at the start of the second period and took the game right to the Caps and built a 4-1 lead before the Caps finally responded. We have to say that we're somewhat happy that the comeback fell short tonight because the Caps did not deserve to win this game tonight lettalone pick up a loser point. You often learn more in the games you lose that in the games you win and certainly should be the case tonight.

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