Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Caps vs. Islanders 11-11-2009 Post-Mortem

Yeah, we've seen this one before... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Alexander "Slappy" Semin with two goals tonight before skating to the bench in the second period doubled over.  Slappy also tied the team record for fastest goal to start a game, 8 seconds.  He's one amazing player when he's healthy.
  • The Power Play was 2 for 3 tonight but most importantly, got a big goal in the first period to cut the deficit to 3-2.  We're not too sure the Caps would have won this game had they been down 3-1 at the first intermission.
  • Milan Jurcina registered four shots on goal, good for third most on the team.  Slappy had 11 by himself, Brooks "and Dunn" Laich had five shots on goal, and no other Cap had more than two.  But getting back to Jurcina, it is good to see him shoot, we just wish he would put a little more juice into his shots because none of the four shots on goal were very dangerous.
THE BAD:
  • We understand the first two penalties the Caps took in the third period.  The Caps had three Power Plays in the first two periods and the Islanders had none.  So the first two calls were makeup/even up calls.  The third call, the boarding call on Jurcina was the penalty that the Caps did not have to take and ended up being the one that hurt the most.
  • The #1 line of Nicklas Backstrom, Tomas Fleischmann, and Mike Knuble were a -2 each tonight.  One of those minuses was thanks to a pathetic backcheck by Fleischmann that lead to the Islanders first goal.
  • What is it about the Caps scoring in the first minute of a game on their first shot on goal?  Last year when the Caps did it, they lost, while they won this time around, they gave up three straight goals after the strong start.
THE UGLY:
  • When you give up more goals, 3, than saves you make, 2, like Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore did tonight, you did not have a good game at all.  While we don't fault Theodore for the three goals he gave up (the defense totally let him down and totally left him out to dry), he did not come up with anything resembling a big save which the Caps needed early on.  Credit to Bruce Boudreau for pulling him so quickly in favor of Semyon "The Saviour" Varlamov because it got the Caps to tighten up in their own zone very quickly.
  • The game was decided by a gimmick.
Ok folks, the good news is that after playing three times in 19 days (with all three games requiring overtime), the Caps don't see the Islanders again until January 26th.  That's 76 days if you're like us and counting.  The bad news is folks we now think there's a good chance that the Islanders will be one of the last two seeds in the Eastern Conference and could very well be our opponent in the first round of the playoffs this year.  While we don't want to look that far ahead right now, that is something we should keep in mind as the season moves along because for whatever reason, the Caps just don't want to take this team seriously.  We happen to think that should we meet in the first round, we better not expect to erase two goal deficits very often.  But the important thing right now is that the Caps tightened things up in their own zone during a game.  After three goals on the first five shots, the Islanders got only 1 goal on the next 26.  We need that kind of effort in our own zone more often.

It has been...  A TWO POINT NIGHT!!!

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