Thursday, April 15, 2010

Game 1 Caps vs. Canadiens 4-15-2010 Post-Mortem

What???  Did you think it would be easy???  Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

  • Some will try to blame him but Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore played a good game tonight.  He made 35 saves and came up with some big stops when the Caps needed them.  All three goals allowed were not his fault.
  • The Penalty Killing unit was aggressive all night and for the most part, took the play to the Canadiens.  They were credited with 8 shots on goal on their 4 advantages but the Caps did a great job of keeping them off balance.
  • 19 shots in the first period, only one goal.
  • After badly outshooting Montreal in the first period 19-7, the Caps were outshot the rest of the way 31-28.
  • That Captain A.O. didn't register a single shot on goal doesn't bother us as  much his attempt to deliver a knock-out blow on Scott Gomez in the third period.  Gomez simply side-stepped Captian A.O. and the defense started scrambling to recover, leading to Montreal's game tying goal.  For those of you who love to yell "hit him" this is exactly why you need to pick your spots.
  • We thought that the game was inconsistently officiated early on but what annoys us is that during regulation time, a TV timeout cannot take place after an icing call.  Yet in overtime Montreal, having already burned their timeout, was lucky enough to get a TV Timeout type timeout after icing the puck when the ice crew came onto the ice to clear ice shavings.  Why that rule changes in OT is beyond us but it doesn't surprise us if it actually does.  Nor would we be surprised if the refs just simply blew it.  This is the NHL after all.
Coming home from work last night we heard Craig Custance of the Sporting News on WJFK.  He expressed shock at Penguin Scum Head Coach Dan Bylsma saying that he didn't care about winning Game 1.  Bylsma said he wanted to wear down Ottawa to win the series.  Well, the Caps may not be employing the same tactics but they are certainly planting the seeds for it.  Twice tonight Montreal turned the puck over in their own zone because they were afraid of an impending hit by a Caps forward.  The Caps were getting the puck to the net tonight, 47 shots is proof positive of that, and they were getting players to the front of the net as well.  Furthermore, the Caps defensmen were punishing the Montreal forwards.  All of this will add up if the Caps keep at it and it will also pay off.  The difference tonight was that the Caps Power Play was 0 for 4 while Montreal's was 1 for 4.  And the one Power Play the Canadiens scored on came off of Nicklas Backstrom's selfish cross checking penalty.  Backstrom had just gotten away with a brazen elbow and then followed it up with a stupid cross check.  We've said it before and we'll say it again, we've got to stay out of the penalty box to win and we did not do that tonight.

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