Thursday, March 19, 2009

Caps @ Ning 3-19-2009 Post-Mortem

Needed a little bit of a warm up... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • A.O. with his 50th goal of the season, 213th of his career, is now 5 goals behind Mike Ridley for 3rd on the Caps All-Time Scoring list. He added a pair of assists and now has 93 points on the season, 403 in his career, and is five points behind Kelly Miller for 13th on the Caps All-Time Scoring list.
  • Viktor Kozlov with a three point game too, all assists. We'll miss him come playoff time.
  • The Caps survived two goals that were waived off under questionable circumstances which made this game look a little closer than it actually was.

THE BAD:

  • Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore had to enjoy watching Simeon Varlamov fend for himself against the Ning tonight. It must be nice to know that is nothing personal. One would think that with a rookie in net, the Caps would tighten up on defense, that wasn't case and the Ning were much more interested in winning this game tonight than Florida was on Tuesday.
  • The Power Play went 1 for 5 against the NHL's 23rd ranked Penalty Killers who have used 20 defensemen and 5 goaltenders this year.
  • As we alluded to above, we disagree with both goals waived off tonight as Alexander "Slappy" Semin got the stick on his hooking call and Eric Fehr clearly got the puck across the goal line. While some will say "you won, it doesn't matter." It does because we're still not getting calls going our way and it kept the Ning in the game longer than they should have been.

THE UGLY:

  • Want more proof that Sergei (#3) Fedorov has lost his scoring touch? Look no further than the two blown breakaways. A younger Fedorov would have buried the second chance had he missed on the first one.
  • Steve Stamkos had no reason to pull Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green down like that late in the third period. First of all, isn't that holding a player away from the puck and therefore an obstruction call? But never mind that as much as the very real possibility that Green could very well be on the shelf for a long time with another shoulder injury. After the debacle in Atlanta, we need him back there to help get the puck out of our zone.
  • Look, we like A.O. as much as anybody around here does and we usually enjoy his goal celebrations which are a result of his joy of playing the game. But tonight's goal celebration was bad on many different levels. First of all, we're convinced A.O. did it for no other reason than to show up Don Cherry. We hope that Cherry ignores it on Saturday night because all A.O. did with his little act was prove Cherry right by acting like a goof. If A.O. were smart, he would have ignored Cherry and continued to jump into the glass. But we would not be surprised to see people starting to turn on A.O. because of this celebration that Green and Nicklas Backstrom were wise not to participate in. Finally, had this been in the NFL, it would have been a 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and we would not disagree with that call.

And so the magic number for earning a playoff spot is now down to just 5 points. It is conceivable for the Caps to wrap it up on Saturday night in Carolina. However, while the playoff spot and division title will come, we aren't too sure about Mike Green. It didn't look good folks and if Bruce Boudreau is forced to move Fedorov into Green's place, the Caps are going to be in a world of hurt. First of all, Green has been playing a much more physical game recently, one that we've never seen out of Fedorov. Yes, Brian Pothier could help out too but he does not bring Green's goal scoring ability. Face it folks, our chances of survival in the playoffs are in question right now. The good news is that the Caps got another win on the road, but we'll have to wait and see how much they lost.

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

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