Saturday, March 14, 2009

Caps vs. Hurricanes 3-14-2009 Post-Mortem

Send in the clowns... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Alexander "Slappy" Semin with a goal and three assists and apparently scoring the deciding goal in the gimmick. (We wouldn't know, we left because we refuse to watch the gimmick) He now has 29 goals and 40 assists on the season in just 51 games. Imagine what Slappy's numbers would look like if he had stayed healthy?
  • Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore was on his game at crucial points tonight. Hopefully this will put to rest the questions about our goaltending and focus the spotlight on our defending which still leaves a lot to be desired.
  • The special teams came through in a big way too tonight. The Power Play was a buzzsaw going 3 for 4 and the Penalty Killers went 4 for 4 allowing just 7 shots on goal. 5 of which came on the 4 on 3 Power Play that they killed off in overtime.
  • With the games that matter to us finished, the Caps Magic Number for a playoff spot is now down to 10 points. The Division will be wrapped up in 12 points.
  • Another goal, 49, and assist, 40, for A.O. who is now bearing down on another 50 goal season and his 400th career point.

THE BAD:

  • Blowing a two goal lead on home ice this late in the season is not a good thing.
  • Despite racking up four points, Slappy was -3 tonight. Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green joins Slappy in registering a -3 even though he had the only even strength Caps goal and one assist.

THE UGLY:

  • The game was decided by a gimmick.
  • It isn't often that you see a team breakout with a 4 on 1. Yet despite getting this rare scoring opportunity in the second period, none of the four Caps drove the net for the rebound which was waiting to be stuffed home and put the game out of reach as the score would have become 4-1 Caps. However, because there wasn't anybody driving the middle looking for the rebound, the puck was cleared and Carolina had a breakaway going back the other way. Unlike the Caps, the Canes had Eric Staal driving down the middle and he roofed the rebound to make the game 3-2.

For as much as these guys, well, just Tom Poti, like to publicly complain about the ice at the Phone Booth, you would think that they would adjust their game when they know that the ice is going to be bad. They can read schedules, they had to know that the Harlem Globetrotters were performing this afternoon. They could have poked their heads out of their locker room and see the casual pace of the area crew to complete the changeover. And yet what is so maddening is that for most of the first two periods, the Caps tried to keep things simple. While some breaks and bounces didn't go their way, they were still very much in control until they decided to get cute in the third period. All of a sudden, Carolina had an easier time forechecking the Caps and Cam Ward could get comfortable in his crease. Luckily for the Caps, the Canes tried to get cute too and that is the reason why they only tied up the game in the third period and didn't take over. The good news for the Caps is that they're heading back out on the road now for five games while the circus takes over the Phone Booth. There they can get into the habit of playing the simpler game they're going to need for the playoffs.

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

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