Friday, January 29, 2010

Caps vs. Panthers 1-29-2010 Post-Mortem

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

THE GOOD:
  • The stellar penalty killing continues with the Caps going 5 for 5 tonight.
  • And getting lost in the goal scoring barrage is the sound defense and goaltending.  Tonight the Caps allowed just one goal and have allowed more than two goals only twice in the last 11 home games.  Who says our defense and goaltending are suspect?
  • Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz joined the goal scoring binge by netting his second goal of the season and his first in 42 games (October 22nd in Atlanta).  He was also a +1 on the night and should have been given one of the three stars.
  • Mike Knuble with two knoals, including the game winner, and an assist.  He's going to be huge as the playoffs come around and has fit in rather nicely.
  • Nicklas Backstrom with a goal and two assists tonight.  His steady improvement continues to amaze.
THE BAD:
  • No free wings tonight.  The guys are slacking off...
THE UGLY:
  • The runs taken at Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green all night.  However, according to TSN, Green could be suspended for his elbowing of Michael Frolik.  Yep, you read that right.  The guy having all kinds of runs taken at him and who got chased out of the game due to a knee on knee hit could be sat down by the league.  And to add insult to injury, the TSN guys don't think that Dmitry Kulikov will face disciplinary action because Kulikov had a knee injury himself earlier this season.  Does anybody still want to maintain that the NHL operates on the level?
Back when we previewed the season we felt that the biggest issue regarding the Caps was maturity.  About a quarter of the way through the season, we felt those questions were still unanswered.  However after watching the Caps on this nine game winning streak, where the Caps haven't always played their best hockey, we're starting to think that those questions about maturity have been answered.  Maybe it really was as simple as putting the "C" on Captain A.O.'s chest.  But good teams find ways to win when things aren't going their best and that's exactly what the Caps are doing right now.  Furthermore, the Caps are showing a killer instinct they've lacked for a number of years.  They aren't just looking to beat teams, they're looking to bury them.  While there's still a lot of hockey left to be played between now and the awarding of the Stanley Cup in June, we're just now starting to see the things we need to see to really believe that the Cup is in our future.

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

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