Thursday, October 15, 2009

Caps vs. Sharks 10-15-2009 Post-Mortem

Persistence pays off... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • A.O. with two more goals tonight. For those keeping score at home, he's now all alone in 8th place on the Caps All-Time Scoring list with 434 points. Up next in 7th is St. Calle Johansson with 474 so it is going to be awhile. And for the record, his 6th and 7th goals of the season give him 226 in his career. He's now only 171 goals behind Mike Gartner for 2nd place All-Time on the Caps Goal Scoring list.
  • Well what do you know, we finally converted a 5-on-3! It took two tries though the first one was only 18 seconds long and losing the faceoff pretty much sealed that fate. The one goal came on one shot so at least they made it count.
  • Semyon "The Saviour" Varlamov came on at the start of the second period due to Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore coming down with back spasms. The Saviour stopped 15 shots in two periods to pick up the win. That has to be good for his confidence.
  • In addition to only taking three minor penalties tonight, the Caps killed off all three allowing only 2 shots on goal. It looks as if the message got through.

THE BAD:

  • Taking 17 shots on goal and getting five Power Plays in the first period, yet all the Caps could manage was 1-1 tie after the first period.
  • And getting back to Theodore, we hope the back spasms are really day-to-day. It would stink to have him go down for any length of time with him playing so well right now.
  • And speaking of goaltending, the Caps allowed 13 shots on goal in the first period alone. The Saviour faced only 15 in the last two periods but the Caps can't give up that many chances early in the game.

THE UGLY:

  • Eric Fehr and Jed Ortmeyer with very pedestrian backchecks that led to goals against their respective teams. In fairness to Ortmeyer, he was trying to backcheck A.O. who was in on a 3-on-2 but Fehr should have had Benn Ferriero covered better.
  • Nicklas Backstrom was 5-12 in the faceoff circle tonight.

So folks just how big was that Matt "Omar" Bradley goal in the third period tonight? If we were Todd McLellan, we would have told our team during the second intermission that the Caps have been blowing leads lately so let's jump on them at the start of the third period and get a goal. If we do, the Caps would likely collapse. Well, the Sharks tired to get within one early in the third period but the Caps were able to hang on. Once Omar scored to increase the lead to three, the Caps relaxed, got back to playing their system, and you could see the wind come out of San Jose's sails. Not even Shaone Morrrissonnn's delay-of-game penalty could get the Sharks going again. While it is only one game in October, this is a big win for the Caps tonight not just because they won, but how they did it. They played a solid game throughout and beat a very good team that they hadn't beaten in a long time. While the rough opening stretch has one more game to go, the Caps can certainly have something to build on as the season goes forward.

It has been... A TWO POINT NIGHT!!!

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