Caps can't catch Wild with 5 minute offensive surge
The Caps dropped their 3rd game in a row, something that hasn't happened under Coach Boudreau until now, against the Minnesota Wild, 4-3. Their 3 goals in the last five minutes came from Matt Bradley (off of a hard working effort by Eric Fehr), Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, but they scored way too late to make a difference in the outcome of the game.
- Goalie Jose Theodore stood on his head, at times, to keep the Caps in the game. One of the diving saves he made on a two on nothing breakaway left me speechless. He was in the zone last night even though the Wild got 4 of 33 shots last night. Once again, he didn't have much help from the defense.
- The Caps top line of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Viktor Kozlov threw a lot of offensive pressure at the Wild early, but Nicklas Backstrom, the elite net minder for the Wild and their suffocating defense, didn't let that unit capitalize.
- Brooks Laich can play defense, too. The unfortunate part, see lowlights below, is that he needed to play on the blue line.
- All teams have injury problems, but the Caps got killed again last night on that front. Defenseman Jeff Schultz left with a broken finger, a 4-6 week injury, Boyd Gordon left with back spasms and John Erskine left with an 'undisclosed' injury. This is, in addition to, top players Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Semin and Mike Green all being out.
- The Caps have a salary cap problem which makes the injury problem even worse. Luckily, Tyler Sloan has been a cheap and capable call up for the Caps, but now the Caps need somebody to play on defense tomorrow night and it's going to cost money to call them up. I realize that having 6 players out is pretty unusual, but being so close to the salary cap is hurting this team and GM George McPhee needs to do something about it. (According to the way too numerous trade rumor articles on Michael Nylander, he supposedly is trying to do something about it. Well, get it done.)
- Ovie getting hit with a puck in the foot on the PK and hobbling off the ice. Please, get Ovie off the penalty kill. The Caps do not need him getting injured, too.
- The Caps showed they could generate offense with five minutes left in the game and injured players dropping like flies. Why in the hell couldn't they do that during the first 55 minutes of the game? Instead they let a rookie call up with the name Cal Clutterbuck score his first two goals in the NHL. Arghhh....
I'll be curious to see what the crowd's like tomorrow and hope I don't have to deal with leaners sitting in front of me.
Let's go Caps!