Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Caps vs. Red Wings 1-19-2010 Post-Mortem

Had 'em right where we wanted 'em...  Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Matt "Omar" Bradley got things going tonight with just his eighth goal of the season and second on Chris Osgood.
  • Niklas Backstrom, like most of the top line, was being doubled and tripled team all night and when he finally drew single coverage, he undressed his defender to score the game tying goal on the Power Play.
  • Ok, who still wants to run Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore out of town?  Jose comes up with probably the best performance by a Caps goaltender this season.  44 saves and an assist on the game tying goal.
THE BAD:
  • Bruce Boudreau went to the whip to start the third period and it initially backfired as Alexander "Slappy" Semin had an ugly turnover at the Caps blueline which led to Detroit's second goal.
  • How's that Tomas Fleischmann at center working out?  2-7 for 22% on faceoffs tonight.  It was very telling that Boudreau sent David "Bolt Cutter" Steckel out with the second line late in the third period to take a defensive zone draw.  Steckel was 10-8 tonight in the faceoff circle, the best of the regular centers tonight.
  • Mike Knuble took two penalties tonight both in the offensive zone and one late in the game.
THE UGLY:
  • It is one thing to get outshot in a game or a period.  But to take over 14 minutes to get your first shot on goal for the game is, well, a problem.  Not the kind of start that the Caps needed.
  • We'd like to know what Henrik Zetterberg was complaining about at the end of the game tonight because from where we sat, the Red Wings got away with a lot more than the Caps did tonight from Dean Morton and Dan O'Rourke.  Detroit had no reason to gripe.
Ok, so the Caps gave up a ton of shots tonight.  Thankfully, Theodore was on tonight but the Caps defense wasn't all that bad tonight.  The Caps did an excellent job of keeping Detroit on the perimeter at times tonight.  However, the Caps weren't going to keep the Wings out there all night because the Wings are just too good even with the injuries that they've suffered and that's where Theodore's big game came in.  The problem for the Caps tonight was getting the puck out of their own and establishing possession in the offensive zone which is more on the forwards than it is on the defensemen.  It wasn't until the third period that the Caps were able to maintain puck possession long enough to take care of these problems.  It also helped that the Caps came out of their shell more and were trying to make things happen but there were still instances where the Caps just looked slow compared to Detroit.  We happen to think that some of it has to do with the fact that Detroit needs every single point they can get in order to make the playoffs while the Caps are on a bit of a cruise control right now.  But we think it is fair assessment to say that the Caps let the Wings wear themselves down and took advantage in the third period.  Is this a recipe for success over the long term?  Certainly not.  But the Caps are now halfway through their tough week and have a 2-0 record to show for it.

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

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