Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Game 4 Caps @ Rangers 4-22-2009 Post-Mortem

Ok if you're getting off the bandwagon, line forms to the left... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • A.O. once again showing why he's the true MVP of the NHL. 11 shots on goal and if you can believe it, right now they're showing none of his shots were blocked. His third period goal got things going. It was a darn shame he didn't get any help.
  • The Caps Penalty Killers once again hold the Rangers Power Play off the scoreboard for the third consecutive game.

THE BAD:

  • While the Caps took only three penalties, two of them came when the Caps were on the Power Play.
  • Once again, the Power Play took too long to get themselves established. We honestly think if they could do something before their third Power Play chance of the game, we really think they could be in charge of the series.

THE UGLY:

  • If fair is fair Bruce Boudreau will return to Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore in goal after Simeon Varlamov's misplay of the puck cost the Caps this game tonight. The first goal you can't blame him on but that second goal was entirely Varlamov's fault and, again to be perfectly honest, he had misadventures playing with puck on Wednesday night too. They cost him and the team tonight.
  • Let us make one thing perfectly clear, we aren't blaming tonight's loss on referees Paul Devorksi and Ian Walsh but folks, they were wretched tonight and we knew we were doomed when we saw Devorski's name as one of the referees for tonight's game. Even if you classify the 3rd period tripping call on Alexander "Slappy" Semin as a pure make-up call, it is still an utter joke as the Ranger just skated over Slappy's stick. There was no excuse to make that call. Furthermore, there could have very easily been two double minor penalties called on Sean Avery in the third period but the linesman had to convince the referees to call the first penalty and who knows what they were thinking, if they were thinking at all, on the second call. Certain Ranger beat writers cannot complain about Avery being targeted by the officials because he's gotten away with a lot more in this series than he's been improperly blamed for.

Well folks, here we are one year later and we're in the exact same position again, down 3-1 in the first round. What can we say folks? We peeked into Darwin's Waiting Room and saw that they were already calling for General Manager George McPhee's head. Now there are three threads on the first page alone calling for McPhee to be fired. While we don't think the Caps played well in the first period, tonight was the first time the Rangers outshot the Caps in the first period, they once again showed which team had the better talent. The Caps hit two goalposts tonight and one of them came in that awful first period on a Sergei (#3)Fedorov. As was the case in Games 1 & 2, the breaks and bounces just did not go our way tonight. Look no further than the game winning goal scored by a player with just one good hand and two players having blood drawn by a known offender but only two minutes penalties being assessed to that player. While a seven game series more often than not allows the more talented team to advance, in the NHL breaks and bounces play just as much of a role. 11 years ago we got all the breaks, all the bounces, and all the calls in our favor as we went to the Stanley Cup Finals. After taking Monday night off, Lady Luck is once again defecating all over us. Finally, we do tip our cap to Henrik Lundqvist, we mentioned this morning that he's improved as the series as gone on. As much as we aren't getting the breaks we need, he is doing what he needs to do in order for the Rangers to win this series. We can only imagine the effort we'll need to repeat what we did last year and get this series into a seventh game.

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