Sunday, January 31, 2010

Caps vs. Ning 1-31-2010 Post-Mortem

How's it going to end???  Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • While the game winning goal came from distance, the first two Caps goals tonight were a result of crashing the crease.  No longer can you say that the Caps aren't willing to pay the price.
  • Want a contrast in team Captains?  Captain A.O. kept at it today despite having 11 of his 19 shot attempts blocked.  His persistence paid off as he netted the Game Winning Goal to keep the team's winning streak going.  Ning Captain Vincent Lecavalier on the other hand was -1, registered no points, and had a temper tantrum with just under 3 seconds left that cost his team any chance to eke out a point.
  • Tyler Sloan got his first action in ten days and from where we sat, he didn't waste the opportunity and registered a +1.  He's a marginal NHL player but somebody who is capable of filling from time-to-time and did great job of doing just that tonight.
THE BAD:
  • For good stretches of the second period, the Caps had Ning goaltender Mike Smith spinning like a top in his crease.  However this high-octane Caps offense could only get two goals.  Is the finishing touch starting to go?
  • John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles and Tom Poti were both on the ice for both goals scored by the Ning.  The Coach's Pet was a -1, Poti however was on the ice for the Game-Winning-Goal which made him even.
  • One last thought on the Coach's Pet, he had five shots on goal and four attempts blocked, the second highest total in both categories behind Captain A.O.  That's straight out of the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot File.
THE UGLY:
  • Bruce Boudreau may think the world of one Tomas Fleischmann but Boudreau is no fool.  Fleischmann didn't tie up his man in the slot and Martin St. Louis got the Ning on the scoreboard in the third period.  Then wile killing a penalty soon after that, Fleischmann had a prime chance to get a needed clear but dawdled with the puck.  His dawdling caused him to turn it over to Lecavalier and Fleischmann compounded the turnover by taking a hooking penalty.  It was on his penalty that the Ning scored to tie the game up at 2 in the third period.  We mention Boudreau not being a fool because Fleischmann took only two more shifts after his penalty and was benched for the final five minutes of the game.  Fleischmann's penalty BTW is the John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game.
  • Oh yeah, blowing a 2-0 lead at home in the third period is not how you go about extending a winning streak.
  • And do we want to know how or why Slapshot now has a son???
After the Ning tied up the game with just over 12 minutes to go, we sensed a bit of panic in the crowd.   Luckily there was no panic amongst the Caps.  They simply continued to work which is why they won.  No, it wasn't pretty and yes the Caps got away with some things tonight that usually burn teams.  But that's what happens when you're on a streak like this.  As long as the Caps continue to work throughout the game, they'll continue to pile up many more wins than losses.

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

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