Saturday, February 06, 2010

Caps vs. Thrashers 2-5-2010 Post-Mortem

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

THE GOOD:
  • First of all, a shout out to the 16,000 other maniacs who joined us in coming out to the game tonight.  Bandwagon fans aren't going to turn out in the numbers we saw tonight with what we're experiencing around here this weekend.
  • Captain A.O. keeps trucking along.  Another goal and an assist upping his season points total to 82 points and extending his lead in the Art Ross race over Henrik Sedin to four.  He's broken the tie with Patrick Marleau for the Rocket Richard but holds the tiebreaker (fewest games) over him anyway.
  • Michal " Bebe" Neuvirth gets recalled from Hershey, rings up 43 saves, and gets the win.  Maybe he is ready for full time duty?
THE BAD:
  • While the Caps seemed to have cured their first period funk, it simply moved 20 minutes later as the Caps had all sorts of trouble in the second period.  The Caps allowed 22 shots on goal and as has also been the case in this winning streak, the goaltending bailed out the team out as no goals were allowed and the Caps carried a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
  • Nicklas Backstrom with the migraines in the third period again.  We noticed three other Caps head off to the bench in pain and while Brooks "and Dunn" Laich and Jason Chimera specifically missed some shifts, they returned to the game and contributed with much needed points in the third period.  But the grueling stretch of games is starting to take its toll.
  • And part of the funk that the Caps fall into tends to come from a lack of puck possession.  The Caps don't help this cause when they get impatient with the puck and try to force passes that aren't there instead of retaining the puck.  The Caps also skated the puck into danger numerous times tonight which also leads to short possessions and turnovers.
THE UGLY:
  • While we salute John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles for catching Marty Reasoner with a clean open ice hit in the Caps zone, we're livid over him accepting Chris Thorburn's invitation to a fight.  Erskine Bowles fight thwarted a rush that the Caps had going and cost the team a good scoring chance.  Ultimate Fighting on Ice Fans are having a harder and harder time defending the sacrosanct "Crock" when clean hits lead to fights like tonight's which is the John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles Bonehead Play of the Game.
  • The Penalty Killers were 3 for 3 tonight but usually do a good job on home ice.  They're ranked third after all.  But the unit allowed 12 shots on goal during the six minutes they were killing them off.
  • Alexander "Slappy" Semin lost an edge trying to stop on a backcheck after coughing up the puck at the Atlanta Blueline and knocked the puck into the net to give Rich Peverley a shorthanded goal after Bebe had stopped the initial shot.  And that wasn't the only Keystone Kops routine the Caps pulled tonight either.  Only the most glaring.
It seems to us as if teams facing us now and seeking to end the streak are trying to come out firing from the drop of the puck.  The Caps however are turning things on in the third period to either complete the comeback, pull out in front, and/or blow the game wide open.  It's looking like it will either take an insurmountable lead in the first period or a third period collapse to end this steak.  But the truth is, for tonight the fast start by Atlanta it wasn't that bad on an idea.  Though if you remember earlier this season, the Caps had all kinds of trouble closing out games in the third period.  Finally, you aren't going to string together 13 wins in a row without a healthy measure of luck in your favor.  Some of the bounces tonight lead us to believe that our good luck is starting to run out but there's still enough to keep it going.

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

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