Thursday, March 04, 2010

Caps vs. Ning 3-4-2010 Post-Mortem

It was "Grizzled Old Vet" Night at the Phone Booth...  Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • Welcome to Washington Scott Walker Texas Ranger.  Two goals tonight darn near doubling his season total.  Both goals were the type of goals that the Caps need to score to win in the playoffs and both were goals we haven't seen Matt "Omar" Bradley score too often.
  • Mike Knuble with two more knoals tonight.  He now has 25 on the season which is just two less than he scored for Philadelphia last year while playing a full 82 games.  Knuble has already missed 12 games for Caps this season and could end up with over 30 goals for the first time since 2005-2006.
  • Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green had two assists tonight, both setting up the Texas Ranger's goals off of rebounds, and had a game high six shots on goal and only two attempts blocked.  Green's shot was really good tonight and we hope he could be starting to heat up.
  • The Power Play was officially 0 for 3 but that last one was only :12 seconds long because Steve Kozari and Paul Devorski didn't feel a need to call much on the Ning.  This sits in the bad column because with Joe S Corvo on board now, it would have been nice to get a few chances to work him in against one of the most penalized teams in the NHL.
  • The Penalty Killers did an outstanding job killing off the Ning's extended Power Play in the second period.  However they were downright atrocious on the two of the first three Ning Power Plays tonight.  The Caps ended up 3 for 5 but usually aren't that bad on the Penalty Kill at home.
  • Tom Poti leading a 3 on 1 rush in the second period that failed to even register a shot on goal.  We wonder why...
  • For a bit there in the second period we thought that the Tampa Bay Diving Team was performing in the Phone Booth tonight.  But somehow only Green got called for diving.  And when we can see Kurtis Foster yelling at Paul Devorski from the bench in our seats, we happen to think that an Unsportsmanlike Conduct is warranted.
  • We don't bother listening to the Open Line Show after the Caps lose but now it is becoming almost untenable even when the Caps win because of all the Jeff "Sergeant" Schultz bashing.  A special mention to the clown who claimed that the two Power Play Goals allowed tonight were a direct fault of Schultz being out of position on the ice.  For the first Power Play goal, Schultz couldn't have been out of position because he wasn't even on the ice.  Poti and Shaone Morrrissonnn were responsible for leaving Steve Downie all alone in front of the net.  For the second Power Play goal, Schultz was the Cap in the box!  Poti and Corvo were the defensive pair on ice for that one but it was Eric Belanger who whiffed on picking but Vincent Lecavalier that made the biggest mistake.  What is the most frustrating is that the host either doesn't have this information to stop the garbage being spewed when it starts or just doesn't care to stop it.  Either way, the Schultz bashing has grown old and needs to stop.
So one night after a nice tight defensive performance, the whole thing goes to pot.  You really can't blame all of it on the new guys.  Poti and Alexander "Slappy" Semin were both -1.  In addition to the sloppy coverage in the defensive zone, the biggest culprit of tonight's bad job in our own end was bad breakouts.  The forwards as a group did an awful job in providing support to the defensemen on the breakouts, making good passes when they had the puck, and staying tight to the defense to prevent the breakout passes from being picked off by the Ning.  Maybe this was some rink rust, maybe this was result of playing in back-to-back games, and maybe it was working in the new guys.  Whatever it was we need to get it out of our system before the playoffs start.  And don't get us wrong, the forwards had the same problems last night too but did a much better job of covering up in the defensive zone.  However, all is not bad tonight, the Caps got another win and have further extended their lead for the President's Trophy (Which is the only race left for the Caps to win).  We also like too that more and more dirty goals are being scored.  We can't help but think that this team could go a very long way in the playoffs this year.

It has been...  A TWO POINT NIGHT!!!



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