Saturday, March 20, 2010

Caps @ Ning 3-20-2010 Post-Mortem

And they say we can't win the close ones...  Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Welcome back Captain A.O. with his 45th goal of the season putting him in the driver's seat for the Richard Trophy.  Because of the injuries and suspensions, Captain A.O. does not need to win either the Art Ross or the Rocket Richard trophies outright, he simply needs to be in a tie for first place in order to claim them.  The first tiebreaker for both awards is the fewest games played.
  • Alexander "Slappy" Semin going to the net and scoring the insurance goal tonight.  After scoring he seemed energized and could have had a couple more to really open the game up.
  • The Penalty Killers have taken a lot of heat this year, especially on the road, but were 5 for 5 tonight.  They allowed 12 shots on goal during those 5 kills but nothing in the back of the net.
  • They say that your goaltender has to be your best penalty killer, we don't know if Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore really was but he was solid once again tonight.  He made 33 saves tonight, didn't give up much in the way of rebounds, and the one that got past him tonight was not his fault.  The competition should be over now.
THE BAD:
  • The nominal third line that was working was broken up tonight by Bruce BoudreauBrendan Morrrissonn energized the second line tonight but the players he left behind, Eric B. Fehr and Jason Chimera looked a little lost out there tonight with different line-mates.
  • Eric Belanger had little jump in his skates and just "didn't compete" on a number of occasions in the offensive zone.  He had the chances to be a big factor tonight but just didn't get it done.  Maybe he should sit next?
  • We make no secret that we think that the Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz critics go way too far in their criticisms on him.  However, tonight he struggled a bit and made a glaring error that resulted in a goal against.  This is the second game in a row where he's made that kind of high profile mistake.  Everybody had tough stretches and slumps throughout an 82 game season but Sarge is picking a bad time to go into a funk.
THE UGLY:
  • Scott Walker "Texas Ranger" obliged Zenon Konopka in Konopka's favorite pastime tonight and Walker ended up ending his own evening rather early.  Luckily we have some better depth than we did before the deadline but the general rule of thumb is to make other people react to you and not you react to them.
  • Wes McCauley and Dennis LaRue called a very loose game tonight.  That led to a lot of the chippiness that you saw and they should have held a firmer grasp on the game tonight.
The knock on the Caps is that they can't play tight, grind them out, close games.  Well, the Caps did it again tonight.  Yeah both teams kept trying for the long passes which were getting gobbled up but that is a sign of a team playing good defense, they don't let those passes through.  We also like the improving Penalty Killing on the road.  This week, the Caps were 14 of 16 on the Penalty Kill with both goals against coming in 5-on-3 situations.  The Caps are now up to 27th on the road with a 74.2% effectiveness rate.  Now if the Caps can stop taking boarding penalties and find somebody other than Tom Poti to put out there for the 5 on 3 kills, the Caps should be in good shape.

It has been... A TWO POINT NIGHT!!! 

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