Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Caps get 2 points against Olie, Tampa Bay

The Caps beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 at home against their long-time former netminder, Olie Kolzig. The Caps gave Olie a nice welcome, plenty of applause, "O-lie" chants and a video tribute at the first tv timeout. I wore my Olie jersey with pride even though I couldn't be happier that the Caps beat him and got two points against a division rival.

The highlights:
  • Alex Ovechkin ended his 9 game scoring drought with a garbage goal from a Alexander Semin shot in the 3rd period. I don't think any fan at the phone booth last night cared that it wasn't pretty. There seemed to be a collective sigh of relief followed by enthusiastic applause.
  • Brent Johnson, 3rd star of the week in the NHL and 1st star of the game, continued his stellar play stopping 36 shots from the Lightning. The defense seems to play more confidently in front of him than Jose Theodore. Overall the defense had a pretty good night last night. However, Johnson's play will make Coach Boudreau's decision tougher on when to put Theodore back in net.
  • Eric Fehr got the hard hat for his hard work last night. He got the 3rd star of the game not just for his goal but for his hustling and hard hitting play.
  • Tom Poti has rediscovered his offense (and, on this team, his defense is way more important than offense). He got the 2nd star of the game and his goal came from a beautiful spin around pass by Donald Brashear, of all people. Brash looked almost Semin-esque.
  • John Erskine played a solid game last night even if he made a couple of plays near the end that still made me want to scream. Ted's blog this morning references a great blog post on Erskine's value to this team. Here it is from the Red Skate.

The lowlights:

  • The second period. After going up 3-0 the Caps were outshot in the 2nd period, 18-6. Did the Caps want to lay off Olie? Did they want to sit on a lead like they've done before? I don't know but Coach Boudreau wasn't happy about it either.
  • The Caps goal scorers getting cute with the puck when they should shoot the damn thing. Coach Boudreau called out Ovie and Semin specifically. See Tarik's blog here for more on that.
  • The Caps passing is still awful. Those cross ice passes make me want to scream with regularity since they usually result in giveaways.
  • The power play stinks as evidenced by the Caps 26th ranking. They were 0-4 last night. Teams are not, repeat, are not, successful in the NHL unless they can score with the man advantage.

Next up, the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the SE division (on November 13th, at least).

Let's go Caps!

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