Sunday, November 25, 2007

A new beginning and 4 points to show for it

Bruce Boudreau made his NHL coaching debut and the Caps beat the Flyers in an overtime thriller, 4-3 on Friday afternoon. Nicklas Backstrom scored the overtime game winner off an Alex Ovechkin pass to make a nice 20th birthday present for the rookie. He also got a shaving cream pie from Ovie after his game winning goal + 2 assist game.

Bourdreau, in a surprise move, played Backstrom on the 4th line between Donald Brashear and Matt Bradley and declared them the best line after the game. That line played well, keeping the puck in the offensive zone and Brashear netted a goal, in addition to, beating the crap out of Riley Cote for good reason early in the game. Flyers v. Caps are always nasty games and this one proved no different.

Not that the game against the Flyers was all good because it wasn't and they almost lost the game, but the Caps prevailed, for once, and a new coach got his first win in the big game.

Then, the Caps turned around and beat the Southeast Division leading Carolina Hurricanes, 5-2 on Saturday night. The Caps outplayed the Hurricanes in the first period, keeping the puck in the offensive zone for huge chunks of time. Even more amazing, the Caps netted three power play goals from Mike Green, Ovie and Michael Nylander after getting another one in Philly. Power play goals have been tough to come by for the Caps so what's going on here? According to Caps writer Mike Vogel post game report, no one is saying, although Boudreau said he listened to suggestions from assistant coach, Jay Leach and trusted his players abilities. worked and little has worked for the Caps on the power play this year.

So, the Caps have won two in a row for the first time since the first week of the season and the wins came against very good hockey teams. I hope it means things might start going in the right direction. Still, at this point in the season, I don't have any expectations for the Caps. They've got a huge hole in front of them and have to play inspired hockey from here on out to get anywhere. Will a new coach be able to do that? I don't know. I'm just happy to watch a team playing with more fire than I've seen in a while.

Buffalo comes to town tomorrow night.

Let's go Caps!

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