Saturday, May 02, 2009

Game 1 Caps vs. Penguin Scum 5-2-2009 Post-Mortem

Well, we always win Game 1... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • We have a Tomas Fleischmann sighting! Finally finishing off a pretty passing play from Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander "Slappy" Semin at the start of the third period, he gets the Game Winning Goal with his first career playoff goal.
  • Say want you want about what went wrong in today's game but you cannot say that the Caps were unwilling to crash the net. The entire second period seemed to take place in Marc Andre Fleury's crease and David "Bolt Cutter" Steckel's goal in the first was a direct result of going to the paint to score goals. But what we liked the most about that particular play was that the alleged MVP, Evgeni Malkin-Lindros, was merely spectating on the play as a backchecker because we all know, you can't be an MVP in the NHL if you don't play at both ends of the ice.
  • The Penalty Killers came up huge with a 5 for 5 effort today against a much better Power Play unit in the Penguin Scum compared to the New York Rangers. Continued Penalty Killing success is going to be vital in this series.

THE BAD:

  • While the Penalty Killers bailed us out, we still took too many penalties. Referees Dave Jackson and Kevin Pollack, working on direct orders from Gary Bettman no doubt, didn't help by calling a lopsided game. But no matter what the zebras are doing, the Caps have to adjust so that they don't take so many penalties.
  • 36 shots on goal and all kinds of jailbreak breakouts for the Penguin Scum today. The Caps forecheck has to get fiercer and the defensive zone coverage needs to be tightened up. We can't count on the Penguin Scum to continue to miss that as many opportunities as they did today.
  • The final faceoff stats of 32-28 in Pittsburgh's favor is a little misleading because while the Caps did dramatically improve upon that stat in the third period, they still lost too many faceoffs to another puck possession team and didn't work hard enough to get it back when they lost faceoffs.

THE UGLY:

  • While Simeon "the Saviour" Varlamov deserves kudos for that right on the goal line last second save on Canadian Diving Team Captain, Lowblow Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby; he deserved to be benched after allowing the second Penguin Scum goal to Mark Eaton in the second period. If Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore gave up a goal like that, there would have been no redemption available to him for any spectacular saves he made later on in the game.
  • Once again the Caps come out flat for a home playoff game. With the crowds the way they've been, there's no reason for the Caps to come out flat like that. Especially against Lowblow Cindy and her Penguin Scum teammates. The Caps took almost ten minutes to get a shot on goal in the first period and then hit 5 goal posts throughout the game.
  • We don't know which team was sloppier, the Caps and their 22 giveaways, Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green and Milan "Jerky" Jurcina each had 4, or the Penguin Scum and their inability to convert on their chances. For the biggest Professional Playoff Hockey Series in the history of the world, that was not a good effort for either side today.

Some will look at the 3-2 score and think it was a close game but it wasn't that close. For all the mistakes that the Caps made, the Penguin Scum wouldn't take advantage and Fleury kept them in the game. We know that the Penguin Scum aren't going to continue to play as poorly as they did today so things must be tightened up in our own zone. The forwards as need to help out the defense when they have a forechecker all over them in our own zone. The Defense needs to move the puck much more swiftly and cleanly instead of holding onto it forever. Furthermore, the Caps need to hit the Penguin Scum Defensemen more, especially after getting the pucks in deep on Gonchar's end. But when both teams start to play better than they did today, this series could very well end up living up to its hype.

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