Sunday, March 28, 2010

Caps vs. Flames 3-28-2010 Post-Mortem

So much for putting those questions about our defense and goaltending to rest... Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Captain A.O. with a goal and assist tonight getting himself back on track and registering 100 points in a season for the fourth time in his five year career.
  • "Mighty Mouse" Mathieu Perreault taking advantage of his recall by scoring a goal today.
  • Yeah this one is kind of lame but after laying an egg in the first period, the Caps fought back to "win" the second and third periods 3-1, out shooting Calgary 30-10.  Imagine what the Caps could have done had they played the first period?
THE BAD:
  • Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz, the favored defensive whipping boy, was only one the ice for one goal against and ended up even on the day because he was on the ice for a goal that the Caps scored..  Tom Poti, who inexplicably escapes criticism, was on the ice for 3 goals against today and ended up a -2 because one of the goals allowed was on the Power Play.  Maybe, just maybe, Ranger and Islander fans have a point about Poti.
  • The Penalty Killers were 1 for 2 today.  It is us or has the Penalty Killing on the road, a problem all season long, gotten better while the Penalty Killing at home is starting to really struggle?
  • Down 1-0 early and given a chance to get back into the game on the Power Play, the top rated unit couldn't generate a single shot on goal.
THE UGLY:
  • No way to excuse Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore today who avoided a loss despite giving up three goals on just nine shots.  He didn't have a chance on the last goal he allowed but just simply whiffed on the first two he allowed.  None of the six saves that he made could be considered big saves.
  • Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green had a adventurous day today.  He took a highly suspect (in other words, Barbara Streisand) closing the hand on the puck penalty which led to a goal against.  He then pulled up and avoided blasting Eric Nystrom with a clean shoulder to the chest in the neutral zone.  Nystrom responded by blinding-side Green with a hit to the head.  However, don't count on Nystrom becoming the first victim of the NHL's new headshot suggestion.
We have to admit folks, we don't know which way to go on today's game.  Yeah, the Caps did exactly what they shouldn't have done which was give life to a team that had none.  Once the Flames got up 2-0 they clearly felt that they could compete with the Caps and in many cases, not only did but won more than their fair share of battles.  However we have to ask ourselves, if this was a playoff game or a MUST WIN GAME for the Caps, would Brooks "and Dunn" LaichBrendan Morrrissonn, and Shaone Morrrissonnn have sat out today?  We seriously, seriously doubt it.  For the Caps to lose the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference they would have to lose every single game left on their schedule in regulation and the New Jersey Devils would have to win every single game left on their schedule.  That just isn't happening and with a seven point lead on San Jose and ten point lead on Chicago, the Caps would have to go into collapse mode in order to lose out on the President's Trophy.  Simply put, there isn't much for the Caps to play for right now aside from the fact that over an 82 game schedule, there are going to be games where just about everything breaks against you.  You come out flat, bad calls are made against you, the puck just doesn't bounce your way among other calamities.  Finally, think back to March 19th, 2008.  The Caps got shellacked in Chicago by the Blackhawks 5-0.  For about the umpteenth time that mnth the Caps playoff's chances were written off.  That however was the last regular season loss the Caps would suffer that year as the Caps went onto win the final seven games and make the playoffs many thought they wouldn't.  Are the Caps about to go on a seven game winning streak here?  We doubt it mostly because the Caps don't have to, but we're not too worried going forward here and we're looking forward to Tuesday's game in Ottawa to see how we respond to day's stinker.

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