Saturday, April 18, 2009

Game 2 Caps vs. Rangers 4-18-2009 Post-Mortem

Well folks, who are you going to scapegoat now??? Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • One of the big, but overlooked, problems on Wednesday night, the Penalty Killing, corrected things and went 5 for 5.

THE BAD:

  • After waiting more than half the game to get on a Power Play, the Caps were simply outworked by the Rangers when they finally went on the Power Play and, once again, didn't generate anything of note until their 3rd man advantage when they finally began to match the intensity of the Rangers, but by then it was too little, too late.
  • The Caps once again got 35 shots on goal, but another 29 were blocked by the Rangers. A.O. was blocked 7 times, Alexander "Slappy" Semin twice, and Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green four times. Those Caps need to start faking more shots and moving around the Rangers flopping around because A.O. is getting double and triple teamed whenever he gets the puck, Slappy is getting double teamed, and the Rangers are doing a good job of neutralizing Green's shots from the point.

THE UGLY:

  • Bruce Boudreau hits the panic button and starts Simeon Varlamov over Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore and still falls behind 2-0 in the series. What's your next move coach because a goaltender change didn't change the outcome?
  • If you're looking for a scapegoat, look no further than Green who missed on his pinch that lead to the rush the Rangers scored on in the first period. If that wasn't bad enough, Green was charged with a whopping 7 giveaways and had an absolutely wretched overall game today. In the playoffs you need your best players to play their best and Green came up well short of that. Do the unwashed masses want to bench him too for Game 3 in favor of Karl "Malden" Alzner?

Well folks, we aren't panicking and we have to say, we really don't know why. Maybe it is because we're so jaded after watching this club fail year after year in the post-season that we've just come to an acceptance of watching things like this when the weather gets warmer. Maybe it is because we've never been sold on this team being a legitimate Stanley Cup contender this season. Whatever it has us so serene right now we also know this much, we're not out of this series. Not by a long shot.

Sure, we can give credit where credit is due. The Rangers played much better today than they did on Wednesday night. We also think we slipped a little bit in our play but the result was the exactly the same, a one goal loss. We're having long stretches of play where we dominate the game but have yet to get rewarded for this. Two years ago when the Caps were not in the playoffs we told you that oftentimes a playoff series will come down to who gets the most breaks and bounces in the series. We are now two games into this one and can anybody point to a big break or bounce that has gone our way? In Game 1 Sergei (#3) Fedorov tries to keep the puck in at the point with one minute to go and his stick breaks. Tonight the final run of the game came unraveled when after Brooks "and Dunn" Laich wins an offensive zone faceoff with about 3:03 left, the puck gets pushed back to Shaone Morrrissonnn who breaks his stick. The Caps needed about a minute and half to get reestablished in the Rangers zone.

What the message needs to be right now is that over the course of a seven game series, the better team will win more often than not. Through two games now the Caps have shown that they are the better team, the one goal margins of victory is a testament to that. We think the Rangers frustrated the Caps in the second period and A.O. was talking to himself after hitting the crossbar late in the third period (On another note, we happen to think that something is wrong with A.O., his shots just do not have that zip, pop, jump, explosiveness, or whatever you want to call it right now). However please trust us folks, if the Caps can get rolling, this team will be a sight to behold and the Rangers won't stand a chance.

Finally we want to take a preemptive shot at the folks like Khornball (who we can see dusting off his typewriter right now in preparation) who want to label these guys "choking dogs." This isn't a choke, this isn't running into a hot goalie (name one spectacular save Henrik Lundqvist has made), this is Lady Luck defecating all over the Caps right now. Some may retort "you make your own luck" and if that is the case, then Caps did this with their lackadaisical March and early April. We mentioned maturity after Game 1, well here it is again.

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