Monday, November 30, 2009

Caps @ Canes 11-30-2009 Post-Mortem

This is going to hurt... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Nicklas Backstrom with two goals and an assist tonight.  The Caps needed his offense to get through this one tonight.
  • Eric Fehr had a goal tonight and an assist and was strong all night long.
  • Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore more than anybody else was the reason why the Caps won this game tonight.  15 saves in the first period alone, 11 before the game was even five minutes old, and 38 for the game.
THE BAD:
  • Against one of the worst Penalty Killing teams, the Caps come up empty on 5 Power Play opportunities.  Not helping the cause was the two penalties the Caps took when on the Power Play, shortening their advantage time to just 6:21.
  • And when the Caps weren't blowing Power Plays, they were playing with fire by having to kill too many penalties.  Luckily for the Caps the Canes Power Play is worse than their Penalty Killing is because having to kill six penalties, including a major Power Play, is not a recipe for success.
  • Tomas Fleischmann could have had three goals tonight and didn't convert a single of his golden opportunities.  Bruce Boudreau keeps singing his praises but it's pretty clear he's returned to his usual disappointing form.
THE UGLY:
  • 16 shots on goal allowed in the first period alone and then 12 more in each of the second and third periods.  For the mathematically challenged, that's 40 shots on goal allowed.  Theodore was left out to dry folks.
  • Once again the dynamic officiating crew assigned by the NHL, Steve Kozari and Brad Meier, couldn't get control of the hockey game.  There were all kinds of penalties that they missed tonight and it makes you wonder about the calls that they did make.
  • Where else would the A.O. hit/injury be?  First of all, we think this was very much like the hit on Sergei Gonchar in the playoffs last year.  Tim Gleason saw the hit coming and jumped out of the way as A.O. was jumping in to make the hit.  If Gleason had taken the hit head-on, none of this would have happened.  However now A.O. is likely out with an injury and the because of the probation he earned because of last Wednesday's game, he's likely to be hit with a 10 game suspension on top of it.  No we're not being snarky, sarcastic, or cute here.  We really think the NHL is going to throw the book at A.O. because as we all learned last April, the NHL's discipline is arbitrary and capricious.
Well folks, we suggest you steer clear of Kettler Capitals Iceplex tomorrow from about 11 am until 1 pm.  The place will be a zoo and F5 buttons around the globe are going to be mashed into oblivion as people try to get the latest update on A.O.'s right knee.  We have a bad feeling about it and it looks as if Alexander "Slappy" Semin will be pressed back into service whether he is ready to return or not.  But let's not let the injury to A.O. overshadow another poor start against a bottom feeding team in the NHL.  The Caps were lucky to get away with this win tonight but Carolina is a bad team right now.  Bad teams find ways to lose and that's what Carolina did.  On the other hand, good teams find ways to win and that's what the Caps did tonight.  As long as the Caps can continue to find ways to win, things should work out ok.

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

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