Friday, May 08, 2009

Game 4 Caps @ Penguin Scum 5-8-2009 Post-Mortem

The more things change... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Now that Game 6 has been assured, we'll see Mr. Donald Brashear in this series and the Caps could certainly use his muscle in the lineup.
  • After waiting for three games, the Caps finally got the memo about hitting the Penguin Scum defense. It lead to some turnovers and ragged play by the Penguin Scum defense. The Caps need to do more of this in Games 5 and 6 if they want to win.

THE BAD:

  • For the third time this season the Caps get a goal on their first shot of the game less than a minute in and for the third time this season, the Caps lose that game. For whatever reason this team lacks a killer instinct and wastes fast starts.
  • The Power Play unit went 0 for 4 but more disturbing was it only generated 1 shot on goal. That isn't going to be good enough.

THE UGLY:

  • Simeon "the Saviour" Varlamov had a really off night tonight. You could kind of see thing coming after his great performance in Game 3 but with Game 5 coming in less than 24 hours, we really think that Bruce Boudreau has no choice but to start Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore tomorrow night just to give the kid a rest before Game 6.
  • With the Caps trailing by one and pressing for the tying goal early in the third period, John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles gets left all along on defense by Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green and plays a two on one about as badly as it could be played to allow what ended up being the game winning goal to be scored.
  • A.O. accidental knee-on-knee hit on Sergei Gonchar was ugly and what has us really concerned is the potential 10 game suspension he's likely to get from the NHL. We're not kidding, being sarcastic, or facetious. We wouldn't be surprised at all to see the NHL throw the book at A.O. for the incident "just to set an example." A.O. is not a dirty player and was trying to make a play on the puck when the injury occurred. However, we doubt that will pacify any of the Penguin Scum fans who are undoubtedly calling for his head.
  • Alexander "Slappy" Semin has become just about totally invisible and turned in a -3 tonight. The Caps cannot win this series without him contributing in a positive way.
  • Penguin Scum fans wonder why their team has a reputation for whining yet was there a single call (and for that matter, non-call) tonight on the Penguin Scum that was not greeted with hysterics? And how in the world did Brooks Orpik avoid an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty in the third period?

Well the worst case scenario has come to pass as we're now in a best of 3 series starting tomorrow night. The Penguin Scum's momentum could very well be blunted by the Gonchar injury as they had some difficulty getting out of their zone and generating speed through the neutral zone after he went down. They didn't get things going again until the Caps started pressing for the tying goal in the third and were able to take advantage. And even if the Penguin Scum manage to pull out a win tomorrow night, the Caps will still be in the series as the winner will take a 3-2 lead back to land that employers ignore. For whatever reason the Caps play much better with their backs against the wall and tomorrow night, their backs will be up against the wall.

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