Saturday, January 26, 2008

1 point out of first

It wasn't pretty, but the Caps pulled 2 points out of two games against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a home and home series and left for the all star break with a win. More importantly, they are 1 point off of first place in the SE division with 2 games in hand over Carolina. It's fun to be a Caps fan again versus the torture of earlier this season. The game went down to the end, but the Caps pulled it out with goals from Brooks Laich and Viktor Kozlov and strong work in net by Brent Johnson that got him the 1st star of the game. Ovie was named 2nd star and had two assists.

In other Caps news:
Donald Brashear resigned a 1-year contract extension with the Caps. I'm glad he's sticking around.

Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are at the All Star and Young Stars games in Atlanta this weekend. Tarek's blog captures Ovie's silliness as usual.

At least, there will be hockey on tonight.

Let's go Ovie & Backstrom!

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At 10:03 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I hope Brashear is paying the Caps.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Caps Dreamer said...

So...I'd like to hear why you think that? I think Brashear plays his role effectively.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

I get into this argument with Caps fans all the time, so I don't expect to change your mind. There are some who agree with me and some who don't, so I have given up on converting everyone.

Bottom line is that his negatives far outweigh his positives. I know that in today's NHL "enforcers" are something teams feel that they need, but there are many enforcers out there who do not actively cost their teams goals the way Donald does.

1. He is prone to taking stupid penalties at the worst times (see e.g. the roughing call against Montreal the other day).

2. He is horrible at clearing the puck from the defensive zone at crucial moments (see just about any one-goal game this season).

3. He has absolutely 0 offensive upside (his points this year have been more luck than anything else, all like 5 of them).

I could go on. Bottom line, his negatives outweigh his positives and he has been responsible for costing his team key goals and even games this season. I've played hockey my whole life, so, while you can argue I am wrong, I am certainly not ignorant. Why do you think he is worth the roster spot, I mean, other than we get to watch him punch people every once in a while?

At 8:17 PM, Blogger Caps Dreamer said...

I think I need to pay more attention to his play overall and, I will, after reading your post. Donald, besides being an effective enforcer, (I think teams feel they still need them because players keep throwing cheap many times has Ovie had a stick shoved in his mouth), also brings off ice qualities that aren't readily apparent. There is a reason he wears an "A" on this team of youngsters. On a side note, I'd have to argue that Semin has been a worse offender of bad penalties at bad times than Brashear lately.

By the way, I'm willing to listen with an open mind when it comes to hockey. I've never played the game since EA doesn't count! Thank you for your comments.

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Chris said...

And here I expected to be berated :-) Thank you for the open-minded exchange . . . I appreciate your thoughts.

I agree on Semin. The way I distinguish them in my head is that Semin's penalties are often the result of laziness (e.g. hooking). When Brashear takes a penalty (something I admit he has done a bit less of lately, save that Montreal performance), it tends to be more stupid (e.g. roughing).

I understand the perceived need for an "enforcer" in the NHL, whether or not I agree with it, but if you are going to take a penalty at a key point in the game you had better take one of their guys to the sin bin with you.

As for Donald's off-ice attributes, I obviously can't speak to that. Good leaders are important, I just have to think that between Clark, Ovechkin, and Kolzig, this team has enough veteran leadership without the Donald.


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