Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brodeur & NJ get the win in a lackluster game

The Caps lost to the New Jersey Devils in a shootout, 4-3, last night at the phone booth. The Caps led 2-1 until the Devils netted two to go up 3-2 within a couple of minutes halfway through the third period. The Caps tied it up at 14:49. Even the near sell out crowd yelling "unleash the fury" in unison in the 3rd didn't stir up the Caps enough to pull out a win. To be fair, Martin Brodeur, one of the elite net minders in the NHL, who is 9 games away from breaking Patrick Roy's record for most wins, kept the Devils in the game and stymied the Caps potent offensive.

What I liked:
  • Alexander Semin continued his unbelievable play and is showing off his flashy puck handling and goal making skills to everyone in the NHL. He got goals #5 and #6 for the season and was awarded the 2nd star of the game.
  • Mike Green scored on the power play yet again. He also made, at least, ones good defensive move, particularly, blocking a shot late in the game that would have been a goal.
  • Sergei Fedorov is still awesome wherever he plays. He and Semin are playing +6 hockey.
  • Matt Bradley puts 150% effort into every shift he takes on the ice. I love that guy.
  • Shaone Morrisonn is quietly turning into a very good blue liner. I noticed him making several great defensive plays last night and he's using his body effectively.
  • Brent Johnson played a solid game in net for the Caps making 34 saves on 37 shots.
What I didn't like:

  • The Caps power play makes me want to scream. They've got a slew of offensive threats but they don't convert on those opportunities nearly enough. They scored once last night on 8 tries. To be successful in the NHL and go deep into the playoff, teams have to score on power plays.
  • Alex Ovechkin is still struggling and couldn't keep the puck on his stick. He took 6 shots for zero goals although he got 1 point on Mike Green's power play goal. Jeff, my other half, and I vote for taking Ovie off the penalty kill for the time being. Ovie needs to focus on playing his game not the PK.
  • I believe part of Ovie's struggles are also a result of Nicklas Backstrom and Chris Clark not playing as well as they can. Clarkie is still shaking off the rust and Backstrom is doing the little things right but isn't generating the offensive he's capable of producing. The ankle injury that kept him out of most of training camp may be to blame.
  • Passing...the Caps keep making these cross ice passes that end up in giveaways far too often. Their passing, in general, looks horrible.
  • John Erskine made one decent outlet pass and then tossed the puck up into the offensive zone on that same play. Every other time I saw him he could barely move the puck a foot on a pass. It was ridiculous.
  • Jeff Schultz continues to frustrate me and was on ice for two goals against.
  • The Caps desperately miss blue liner Tom Poti and I hope he's not out long.
Next up, a West Coast road trip starting with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

Let's go Caps!

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