Thursday, November 20, 2008

Caps can't shoot in 5-2 loss to the Kings

The Caps looked tired, lethargic and not into the back-to-back game against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.  They mustered all of 21 shots total and only 9 in the first two periods.  It's a team that on paper the Caps should have beaten, but this has happened before (see opening night against the Atlanta Thrashers).  To give the Caps a tiny bit of credit, Mike Green, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Semin did not play and according to Tarik El Bashir's article in the Washington Post today here, that "trio has accounted for 24 of the Capitals' 64 goals, a whopping 37.5 percent".

The highlights:
  • Brent Johnson looked sharp in net coming back after his hip injury although he did let in a softie goal, the 2nd one the King's got.  He's starting again today against the best team in the NHL, the San Jose Sharks.  Tarik's article today also points out that Johnson's stats against the Sharks are the reason he's starting.  He's "7-1-1 all time with a .928 save percentage and 1.54 goals against" but the Sharks are dominating this year so it'll be a tough game.
  • Brooks Laich blocked 3 shots without a stick while on the 5 on 3 penalty kill.  That was simply amazing to watch.  He also netted his 5th goal of the season. 
  • Viktor Kozlov made another brilliant pass for Nicklas Backstrom who scored his 4th goal of the season. 
  • Tom Poti and Tyler Sloan played the best on defense last night.
The lowlights:
  • Everything else about that game....
  • A puck being deflected off Alex Ovechkin's stick to give the Kings the first goal.
  • The Kings young, but suffocating defense that left the Caps in their zone for what seemed like most of the game.  I've got to give credit to Drew Doughty who looks mighty impressive on the ice for an 18-year old defenseman.  He gave the Caps fits.
  • As much as I complain about Mike Green's defense, at times, this game made it very clear that Caps miss his ability to get the puck of the zone when he's not playing.
It's going to be a tough game for the Caps tonight.  I'm hoping that Sergei Fedorov returns. Tarik seemed to think that's a possibility.  Caps could use him desperately.  It sounds like Mike Green will also be back soon and possibly even tonight.  That's great news.  

Let's go Caps!

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