Sunday, December 20, 2009

Caps @ Oilers 12-19-2009 Post-Mortem

Who says you can't play just 20 minutes and win in the NHL???  Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Michal "Bebe" Neuvirth with a very good game tonight.  He made 26 saves tonight and looked much more comfortable in goal than he did one week ago.  The two goals he allowed tonight were not his fault.
  • 42 shots on goal, 18 of them in the third period alone, as the Caps got rubber at Jeff Deslauriers and made him earn his paycheck tonight which is what they needed to do.
  • Oh, and there's that A.O. guy, igniting the comeback with two goals to tie the game up and then an assist to help put the game away.  Just another night at the office for him.
THE BAD:
  • Everybody's favorite whipping boy, Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz with an ugly turnover and even uglier effort to recover, leading to Edmonton's first goal.
  • Mark our words folks, Brendan Morrrissonn is going to botch a prime scoring chance in the playoffs that will kill us.  This is going beyond a slump.
THE UGLY:
  • The Power Play slump continues.  0 for 4 yet again and only 3 shots on goal with a 1:51 5-on-3 advantage that yielded just one shot on goal.  Now grant you, there were plenty of blocked shots by Edmonton and the Caps applied great pressure on that 2 man advantage, but the results remain the same.
  • As good as they were in the third period, the first line of A.O., Nicklas Backstrom, and Alexander "Slappy" Semin were downright awful in the first two periods.  The second goal was caused by A.O. and Slappy blowing the defensive zone before the puck left (and as a matter of fact, nobody was in position to push the puck up to them, making their play all the more mind boggling.  That's why it is tonight's John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game.)  If it hadn't been for A.O.'s heroics in the third period, the trio would have been a combined -6 instead of a +3 as they were on the ice for 5 of the six goals scored in the game.  In the first and second periods, they looked like they had never skated on a line together as there was zero chemistry from them.
Well gang, this is one of those wins where you come away feeling not so good about it.   The Caps got away with one tonight as Deslauriers turned in a fantastic performance against a Caps team that was looking forward to getting home.  We didn't go to the net much tonight and as the game wore on, it was obvious to us that Deslauriers didn't like having players camped out in front of the crease and crashing it when the puck arrived.  But the travel now eases up as five of the next seven games are at home and we don't play another set of back-to-back games until the Tampa-Florida pairing January 12th-13th.  So hopefully the Caps can take the momentum generated by the third period tonight and string a few more wins together as four of the next five games are against teams in that are currently with us in the top ten in the league.

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

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