Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Young Guns Deliver and Caps beat Carolina 5-1

What a fun game to watch!  It's always nice when the Caps play 60 minutes of hockey and dominate their division rival 5-1 on the road to take sole possession of first place in the SE division, at least, for tonight.  The best part...the Caps are starting to look like the team that tore through the latter part of last season to win their division.

The Alex Ovechkin (2nd star), Nicklas Backstrom (3rd star), and Alexander Semin (1st star) line lit up Carolina's netminder, Michael Leighton, for 4 goals and 12 points total.  Mike Green, the other young gun, got the other goal of the game on a power play from Backstrom and Semin. Brooks Laich gets a shout out for the amazing screen that led to that goal for Green.

  • Ovie scored first at 5:11 in the first.  The team seems to feed off of his enthusiasm so it's nice to see he looks like he's getting his groove back.
  • Backstrom also looks like he's getting his groove back.  He had his first goal and a 4-point night.
  • The passing between that line was sublime at times, but Semin and Ovie still get too cute and pass sometimes when they should shoot the puck.
  • The passing, in general, looked better than it has on most games.
  • Milan Jurcina got 3 penalties, probably not the hat trick he wanted.  
  • Semin got 2 hooking penalties.  Oh, well, he played like a beast again anyway and is on a ridiculous scoring pace. For the moment, he's leading in goals, points and plus-minus. 
  • Netminder Jose Theodore came in cold for Brent Johnson and played well for two periods making some great saves, 13 in total, and letting in 0 goals.  Theo seemed to talk more to the defense than I've noticed this season.  Maybe the better communication is helping.
  • Johnson continued to play well, but got hurt at the end of the first.  Sigh....I hope it's not serious.  He's been playing like a starting goalie and is 3rd in save percentage and 6th in goals against average in the NHL.
  • Jeff Schultz was a +4 for the night, wow.  And, the defense played pretty well overall.
  • Carolina played a bad game.
The Caps play the New Jersey Devils on Friday and Saturday without hall of fame netminder Marty Broudeur which tends to make life easier for the offense.

Let's go Caps!


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