Friday, November 13, 2009

Caps vs. Wild 11-13-2009 Post-Mortem

Not quite boring, not quite exciting...  Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • No shots on goal for the Caps in the first seven minutes as they didn't get the "chase" part of the "dump and chase" style going.  But 41 shots on goal over the last 53 minutes was impressive to us even though there are still those who think they didn't shoot enough.
  • We have a Brian Pothier sighting!  A game winning goal, for #2, his 2nd of the season, at the 2 minute mark.  Anybody else noticing a pattern here???
  • Against a team that was running at over 90% on the road in the Penalty Killing department, the Caps went 1 for 3 with 7 shots on goal.  As a matter of fact, it was the Power Play in the first period that got the Caps offense going in tonight's game.
THE BAD:
  • Look, we don't enjoy beating up on Semyon "The Saviour" Varlamov on here but calls for him to be proclaimed the #1 goaltender after just under two games is absurd, especially since he let in another questionable goal.  The Saviour is young, he'll be a good one but can we please keep expectations at a somewhat reasonable level right now?
  • Against a goaltender with a 4.73 goals against average and .761 save percentage entering tonight's game.  The Caps hung just two goals on him in 40 shots and allow him to lower those gaudy numbers to a slightly more respectable 3.92 GAA and .849 save percentage.
  • The defensive effort overall was ok but with Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz and Milan Jurcina out of the lineup tonight, not a whole lot of crease clearing going on in the Caps zone.  Too many pucks to the slot for our tastes tonight.  That a big reason why the Caps allowed 30 shots on goal.
THE UGLY:
  • If you haven't already heard it being reported in mulitple places, Mike Knuble is out 3-4 weeks with a broken finger.  That's going to hurt we think from a leadership standpoint.
  • And we've seen stupid penalties in our lives and Niklas Backstrom's cross checking minor in the first period is among the stupidest we've ever seen.  Not only was the cross check late, uncalled for, but it was entirely weak.  IF you're going to take a penalty like that, you should least get your $$$$$'s worth as far as we're concerned.
We remember coming out of the lockout knowing that the Caps were a bad, but young, hockey team.  We were amazed at times how the Caps would play outstanding games where they displayed the raw talent that they possessed and took heart knowing that it would eventually come together.  Now it is amazes to us to see what happens with this hockey team when they decide to start going to the net.  Should they stop doing this come April, May, and June, we will be very upset because we now know that one of the knocks against the Caps just simply isn't true anymore.  This is a team willing to fight to get to the net to score goals.    However, on another note, A.O. has now missed five games this season and the Caps are averaging 4 goals a game in his absence.  Now we're not advocating keeping A.O. on the shelf any longer than is really necessary but these past five games should dispel the notion that the Caps are nothing more than a "one man band."  We just hope that Knuble's kninjury doesn't force A.O. back into the lineup tomorrow night if he's not fully ready.  The team has a lot more hockey left to play than just 63 games.

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

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