Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Game 4 Caps @ Canadiens 4-21-2010 Post-Mortem

Just too darn good...  Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Jason Chimera has been a thorn in the side of the Canadiens all series long and tonight he comes up with the Game-Winning-Goal.
  • Mike Knuble with the back-breaking shorthanded knoal tonight, the second one for the Caps in as many games.  He added an empty-netter to help seal the deal late in the game for his second goal of the playoffs.  It's good to get him going as the second round and a probable date with the Flyers loom.
  • The Power Play finally busted their slump, while Captain A.O.'s goal was off the rush and not off any set work, we'll take it and run.  However, after getting setup in the offensive zone, the Power Play has to find a way to get more pucks to the net.
  • And speaking of Captain A.O., he and Nicklas Backstrom both rang up three points tonight.  It's becoming clear that these two alone are more than Montreal can handle.
  • Semyon "The Saviour" Varlamov had an outstanding game tonight making 36 saves, 20 in the second period alone.
THE BAD:
  • Tell us again why faceoff are so important?  The Caps won 36 faceoffs and lost 29 but were outshot 39-38.  Something doesn't add up.
  • Montreal scored yet another Power Play goal on us tonight, going 1 for 4.  So far it doesn't look like our penalty killing is going to cost us in this series.  But it is not over yet.
  • And while Alexander "Slappy" Semin lucked his way into an assist tonight for his first playoff point this year, we still don't think he's playing very well.
THE UGLY:
  • While the Caps had more Power Plays than Montreal, the officiating tonight was just awful.  First Joe Scorvo takes a blind-side hit from Maxim Lapierre that none of them saw despite the NHL's newest "crackdown."  Then Carey Price whacks Backstrom while Price was standing on the Montreal Bench after the last empty-net goal.  We're pretty certain that NHL Suggestion Book prohibits such actions but we doubt that either Lapierre or Price will face any kind of supplementary discipline nor any further mention of their actions.
Well folks, we're almost there.  We're one game away from getting about a week off before the second round begins and we can rest some players.  While tonight's game was not the best effort the Caps can muster, we happen to think that our problem is not defense, but focus.  There's no reason why other than losing focus that Montreal scored a third goal tonight.  The Caps just stopped playing but Dominic Moore didn't.  That was the biggest example of focus loss but there were other individual moments as well.  But a win is a win and the Caps are rolling along and now come home looking to wrap this series up quickly.

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