Monday, April 26, 2010

Game 6 Caps @ Canadiens 4-26-2010 Post-Mortem

Not where anybody wanted to be...  Onto the Battle Damage Assessment...

THE GOOD:
  • Eric Fehr got a goal late.  It was too little too late for this game but it broke up the shutout because as bad as it is to be going into a Game 7 under these circumstances, it would be 100 times worse if Jaroslav Halak had pitched a 54 save shutout at us tonight.
  • Montreal has been flopping like fish out of water all series long trying to draw penalties.  Thankfully tonight Tim Peel and Dan O'Rourke were finally calling them out on it and whistled them three times for diving.
THE BAD:
  • With all due respect to Halak who played an amazing game tonight, Caps added to their own frustration by pumping more and more shots at Halak without screens, without players in front ready to pounce on rebounds, and from distance.  Yes Halak robbed them stone cold on a number of occasions tonight but when the Caps did get players in front, the shots went wide.  When the Caps did get rebounds, hardly anybody was fighting for them.  Instead of taking the puck to the net and crashing the crease, the Caps were content to shoot from distance against a goaltender that was stopping everything.  It shouldn't be any wonder that he posted some of the numbers that he did tonight.
  • If you're wondering why Tomas Fleischmann isn't scoring look at his botched chance.  He had to make an extra move with the puck before shooting at a wide open net.
THE UGLY:
  • No way to sugarcoat it, Semyon "The Saviour" Varlamov did not have a good game tonight.  3 goals allowed on 21 shots faced.  Bruce Boudreau would have pulled Jose "Alvin, Simon," Theodore had he gotten down 2-0 for the second consecutive game less than 10 minutes in.
  • The Power Play is more than a problem, it is an albatross around our necks right now.  0 for 6 tonight and the coup de gras is the big fat 0 shots on goal during a 1:15 5 on 3 in the first period.  The Caps badly needed a goal there to get back into the game but couldn't even muster a shot.  18 shots on goal otherwise but none of them mattered because none of them got into the net.
  • In addition to 54 shots on goal, 23 of them were blocked, and 17 missed everything.  That's 94 shot attempts tonight and only one goal.
So you're thinking what we're thinking, "He can't do this two games in a row right?"  Well, looking at his game log, yes he can because he has.  After facing the magic number of 45 shots, where he's undefeated, Halak is 4-2 in his next outing including the 6-5 overtime loss in Game 2 of this series.  Halak made 45+ saves in three consecutive games before yielding the one loss in the regular season.  He then made 45+ saves twice in a row before beating the Penguin Scum with just 18 saves on 21 shots.  So yes folks, be afraid.  Be very afraid about Wednesday night because this version of the Caps has not come out with a sense of purpose in any of their previous three Game 7's.

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