Sunday, April 05, 2009

Caps vs. Thrashers 4-5-2009 Post-Mortem

Getting closer... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • The Caps are now 5 points away from locking down the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference.
  • Two more points, both assists, for A.O. who runs his point total to 106 this season, two points behind Evgeni Malkin-Lindros who was shutout yet again tonight, and 416 in his career, one point behind Dave Christian for 11th on the Caps All-Time Scoring list. But more importantly was the physical play of A.O. which once again got the Caps rolling and Atlanta off their game for a bit.
  • Against a fairly good Power Play, the Caps held the Thrashers to just 0 for 6 with just six shots on goal as the Penalty Killers are over the minimally acceptable standard of 80% at 80.3%.
  • The old concern of secondary scoring was put to rest for at least one day. Eric Fehr, Tomas Fleischmann, and Michael "Meadowlark" Nylander broke out of slumps with goals today. Brooks "and Dunn" Laich reached the 20 goal plateau.

THE BAD:

  • It seems like it just wouldn't be a Caps game unless there are ugly turnovers at the start of the first and second periods. Coming out of the locker room sleepwalking is not a recipe for a deep run in the playoffs.
  • The Caps rang up 33 shots on goal, however another 21 were blocked and 24 more missed everything.

THE UGLY:

  • Against the second worst Penalty Killing in the league, the Caps, who own the best Power Play in the league, went 1 for 7. The lone Power Play goal? Scored by career minor-leaguer Keith Aucoin.
  • Yep, we too have no idea why Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore thought he was Ron Hextall and tried to shoot on a empty net. Needless to say, he shouldn't have done it and it is today's John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game. We have a hard time imagining anything else beating this one out.

And so the home schedule for the regular season as come to an end. The Caps will have more home games this season and while they're starting to get back to the way they need to play come playoff time, they still exhibit certain habits that concern us. First of all, the turnovers in their own zone, the Caps can't start a game or a second period without one of them and we've seen them end up in the back of our net recently which is a concern. Secondly, the love affair with the cross ice pass at the blueline both attacking and defending. It cost us in overtime against the Buffaslugs on Friday night and it cost us a shorthanded goal against today. Finally, the tendency once building a lead to get cute. When the fourth line is passing the puck back and forth through the slot, you know something is wrong. We happen to think that was a by-product of the Caps starting to have fun once again today. But the Thrashers aren't making the playoffs and we should have learned last year that you can't expect to come back in the third period every night in the playoffs. However, the goal of getting the second seed is still alive and closer and there are three more tune up games before the games that really count begin.

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

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