Saturday, December 19, 2009

Caps @ Canucks 12-18-2009 Post-Mortem

Too much home cooking???  Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • It can be tough to praise the defense when you lose a game but the Caps allowed only 20 shots on goal and kept the Sedin twins in check.  As a matter of fact, we think the Caps did a better job of mucking things up than the Canucks and the Canucks thrive on mucking things up.
  • Captain Chris Clark with another goal tonight.  That's three points in his last two games while skating on the fourth line.  The Caps need production out of him but out of the third and fourth lines in general in order to win games.
  • Alexander "Slappy" Semin with the Caps other goal tonight and was the most dangerous forward for the Caps tonight.  He had some tough luck on the penalty shot as it seemed like the puck stuck on him not once but twice as he went in for the shot.
THE BAD:
  • As good as Kyle Wilson was on Tuesday night, he was practically invisible tonight even when he did play.  He's been credited with only 10 shifts and 8:08 of ice time tonight; the lowest of anybody on the team.  We didn't hear that he got hurt so we assume it was a benching for poor play.
  • The Power Play was 0 for 4 tonight and got progressively worse as the game wore on.  They got only one shot on goal and on the final Power Play, were defending more than they were attacking.  And in case you were wondering, Vancouver is ranked 20th in the league on the Penalty Kill.
THE UGLY:
  • More poor officiating tonight from referees from referees Mike Leggo and Brad Meier.  First of all, we agree that Slappy should not have been awarded a penalty shot but why in the world was Tom Poti hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty?  The NHL "crackdown" on players complaining on the way to the penalty box is the second most ignored rule behind offensive interference/moving picks.  Furthermore, after reading the Tim Donaghy excerpts we think the theme that the refs chose for tonight's game was "trip A.O. night." We counted three instances where he was tripped when in possession of the puck but no penalty call was ever made.  Finally further proof that the refs had no clue as to what was going on out on the ice was the near goal they allowed at the start of the second period.  If you watch the replay, the referee starts to signal that a Vancouver goal had been scored before he realized that the Caps net was off its moorings.
Well folks, for a 3-2 loss, we really can't complain too much.  First of all, we expected it would be tough to beat Roberto Luongo and it was.  Both goals were off of the rush and Vancouver simply didn't allow many rushes tonight.  The Caps weren't taken too out of their rhythm by playing a grinding game and really dominated the territorially, keeping Vancouver bottled up for great lengths of time.  We're torn about Nicklas Backstrom missing the net on his first shift because when the Caps score on their first shot very early in the game, the results have been less than pleasing.  So while it might have been nice to get out to an early lead, it hasn't really benefited us well in the past.  Overall, we liked the effort that the Caps put out tonight and really can't blame Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore for any of the goals he allowed tonight.  Sometimes things like this will happen where you play a good game but come up short, especially when you're playing a good team in their barn.  We're interested to see how the team rebounds tomorrow night in Edmonton to cap off the road trip.

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