Friday, February 20, 2009

Caps vs. Avalanche 2-20-2009 Post-Mortem

Let's see what cliches we can use tonight... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • The Penalty Killers were a perfect 4 for 4 tonight and held firm while killing yet another 5-on-3.
  • No Delay of Game penalties tonight for shooting the puck over the glass from the defensive zone with absolutely nobody around us.

THE BAD:

  • 8 shots in the first period, 8 more shots in the second period. The only reason why the Caps got 13 in the third period was because Colorado packed it in, especially after going up 3-1. Outside of the S.O.B. line and for a couple of stretches, the F Bomb line, the Caps could not get past Colorado's highly aggressive forecheck tonight.
  • The post-lockout Caps emerged again tonight with more passes hitting skates instead of tape. Hard to blame the ice on that one.

THE UGLY:

  • Losing to Colorado is bad enough, but losing to Colorado, the fourth worst defense in the NHL, and scoring only one goal in the process is downright ugly.
  • We found Nicklas Backstrom's offensive zone interference call highly ironic considering that the Dynamic NHL Officiating crew of Kerry Fraser and Gord Dwyer couldn't be bothered to call any of the offensive zone interference calls on Colorado tonight. Particularly on what turned out to be the Game Winning Goal in the second period. A moving pick was set on Shaone Morrrissonnn which allowed Milan Hejduk a free lane behind the Caps net to set up Adam Foote for the goal. We've complained about it in this space before and we'll complain about it again. We don't have any problems with cutting down on the clutching and grabbing and hooking and holding by defenders but it needs to be called both ways. You cannot tell the defense to lay off players without the puck but then allow forwards to take out defensemen to open up lanes for their teammates. That just is not right.
  • Matt "Omar" Bradley, -3.

If there is any bright side to this game tonight it is that the Caps did this against Colorado. Hopefully this means that they won't lay another egg on Sunday, however this is two very sub par efforts in a row now. This would be a bad time to go into a slump. What concerns us the most about tonight's game was the forechecking pressure applied by the Avalanche. The Penguin Scum under their new head coach wants to play a much more aggressive game and if it is anything like what Colorado did tonight, we're going to have our hands full again on Sunday. We all know that Philly won't sit back on us come Tuesday night and this could be the start of a snowball effect.

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