Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Game 3 Caps @ Penguin Scum 5-6-2009 Post-Mortem

7 will eventually beat 5... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Simeon "the Saviour" Varlamov is quickly becoming the MVP of this series. 39 saves tonight on 42 shots against. You can't ask any goalie to do much more than he did tonight. Two of the Penguin Scum goals came from bad bounces off the defense in front of him and the third goal was a classic case of a player camped out in the crease that the NHL does not bother calling anymore.
  • After a pretty sloppy game where the Caps seemed content to sit on a one goal lead for most of the game, Nicklas Backstrom finally got a second goal with just under 2 minutes to play to force overtime. With the way the game had been heading, you had no right to expect that the Caps would force overtime after giving up the go-ahead goal with about 5 minutes to go.

THE BAD:

  • Somehow the Caps were only charged with 3 giveaways but the Penguin Scum got 10 takeaways as the Caps continue to have trouble with the Penguin Scum's forechecking.
  • Bruce Boudreau out coached himself tonight. We understand that Sergei (#3) Fedorov got dinged up in the second period but when it became obivous that he was fine in the third period and overtime, there's no reason why A.O. should have stayed with Backstrom and Alexander "Slappy" Semin. If Boudreau wanted to jump start A.O. with Slappy, that's fine, but why hasn't Fedorov been the center on that line considering the success that line had at least year's World Championship and earlier this season before Fedorov got hurt? Fedorov centering Viktor Kozlov and Tomas Fleischmann is just a waste.
  • On a night where Marc-Andre Fleury was clearly not on his game, the Caps could only generate 23 shots on goal and didn't sustain any pressure on him. Talk about your missed opportunities.

THE UGLY:

  • When we complain about the officiating, rarely is it about what is called against us. Instead we usually have huge issues with what isn't called against the other team. Not so much tonight because the penalties on Slappy for hooking and Simeon the Saviour for slashing were bogus, plain and simple because they could have been called on both teams all night long. Furthermore, 7 Power Plays to 2 gives you an idea just how lopsided this officiating job by Mike Leggo and Dan O'Halloran was. While some of it had to do with the Caps skating in quicksand for most of the night, a good chunk of it had to do with the refs looking the other way when the Penguin Scum comitted fouls, especially tripping calls.
  • Alluded to earlier, 42 shots on goal allowed tonight by the Caps. 24 in the second and third periods and then another 8 in just 11:23 of overtime. At some point, Simeon the Saviour isn't going to be able to stop them.

Ok folks, if any of you had any notions that this was going to be easy or that the Caps could sweep this series you have lost them now. But before you go jumping off that cliff, not everything here tonight is bad. The Caps have been playing with fire so far in this series and now that the five game playoff winning streak is over, the Caps have plenty of incentive to get back to basics. Furthermore, as we mentioned during the first round and we'll say this again early Friday morning, there isn't a dime's worth of difference between being down 3-1 as compared to 3-0. The Penguin Scum are still in desperation mode and we can easily see complacency setting in on them on the basis of this one win because it is clear that they have little respect for the Caps. There were bad bounces all over the place tonight that lead to goals for both teams. The Penguin Scum got more of them than the Caps did tonight and as we said back in the preview, as evenly matched as these two teams are, that very well could end up being the difference in this series. So all that has been accomplished right now is that there will be a Game 5 in D.C. on Saturday night. The CBC is certainly happy for their traditional Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.

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