Thursday, February 26, 2009

Caps vs. Thrashers 2-26-2009 Post-Mortem

Maybe we're too comfortable at home... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • The Power Play was once again on a roll, going 3 for 7 and generating 15 shots on goal.
  • Four goals from four different players without the initials A and O. Secondary scoring is going to be key down the stretch and into the playoffs.
  • Alexander "Slappy" Semin with a goal and two assists tonight. Looks as if he's getting back into the form that had us talking about him as MVP earlier in the season.
  • The win was very much needed tonight as Florida came back on the Rangers to win in regulation, Carolina won a gimmick over the Buffaslugs, Boston blew out Anaheim, and New Jersey took down Colorado tonight. As a result, the magic number for a playoff spot is now down to 24 points and a division title will be claimed in 29 points.

THE BAD:

  • We understand A.O. was upset about the no-call when Rich Peverley high sticked him in the face, we were too. But #1, he has to keep his composure, the Power Play goal Atlanta scored on his roughing penalty got them back into a game they shouldn't have been in and #2, if you are going to lose your cool, at least go after the guy who did it, not the nearest guy you can find.
  • We know we're in the minority here but color us unimpressed with Michal Neuvirth tonight. We find it hard to praise a guy who gives up 3 goals on 24 shots like he did tonight. He looked like a statue on two of the three goals he gave up, and those were shots he saw clearly but just didn't react at all.
  • After not allowing Philadelphia, the clear leader in shorthanded goals, to get much of a sniff shorthanded; the Caps allowed a shorthanded goal to Atlanta on what could only be described as poor coverage and even poorer goaltending.

THE UGLY:

  • We have learned Ladies and Gentlemen that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has invited Stephane Auger and Mike Hasenfratz to serve as special guest referees the next time the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the Super Bowl...

Call it a lack of composure, a lack of killer instinct, immaturity, "playing down to the competition," or whatever you want, but whatever it is, it is going to make things a lot more interesting down the stretch for us than they should be and could cost us the 2nd seed in the East. The lone bright spot is that while Atlanta hung around and even tied up the game in the second period, we never felt seriously threatened. The game never felt much in doubt but having to pull another one out continues to trouble us. We're a little over six weeks away from the start of the playoffs and while we understand that you don't want the team to peak in March, you also want to get yourself properly positioned for playoffs. While it would be tough for us to face Philadelphia, we don't want to face Florida either. Finishing in third, or worse, would greatly increase those odds. However, will admit that it is nice to talk about a so-so effort on a night you win than having to play the perfect game just to have a chance at winning.

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

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