Sunday, November 30, 2008

Caps road woes continue as Blue Jackets win 3-0

After shutting out the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, the Caps got shutout by a rookie goaltender, Steve Mason, in Columbus last night.  I didn't get to see the game and it seems like that was a good thing.  The Blue Jackets, Rick Nash, scored twice which is no surprise to me as he continually scores against my team in EA hockey!  Raffi Torres scored the other goal.

From what I've read, Capitals goalie Brent Johnson played solid in net so it was the lack of offense and the AHL level defense that couldn't contain the Blue Jackets.  Even though Johnson played well, I'm still curious why Coach Boudreau didn't go with Jose Theodore after he got the shutout the prior night.  Who knows.  The bigger question is why can't the Caps win on the road?  They have to improve on their 4-8-2 road record if they want to do anything in the post season this year.

The worst news of the game, defenseman Karl Alzner, went out with an injury.  This has me wondering what in the hell is going on with the Capitals if they have players getting injured every single game.  Is it conditioning? Is it simply bad luck (Caps fans are all too familiar with that)?  Is it carelessness (I'm sure Mike Green will remember to keep his head up now)? All I know is that the list of injured players has reached a unparalleled level of absurdity.  I'm also getting sick of players like Alexander Semin being listed day-to-day which quickly turns into week-to-week.  Arghhh.

At least the Caps come back home to the friendly environs of the phone booth for a game against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.  I'll be there rocking the red.

Let's go Caps!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Theodore gets shutout in 3-0 win over Canadiens

Goalie Jose Theodore had a score to settle with his old team the Montreal Canadiens and he did it in style making some spectacularly athletic saves in the 2nd period that had the fans at the phone booth on their feet in a standing ovation.  He played his best game as a Capital and got the first star for the game.  I've never been a big Theodore fan, but I want him to be successful now because he plays for my team.  Hopefully this will be a big confidence boost for him that helps him find the consistency he needs to win games for the Caps in front of an injury plagued blue line that featured four Hershey Bears players last night.

The highlights:
  • The call ups from the Hershey Bears continue to play well and are helping the Caps to still win games.  Rookie defender Karl Alzner continues to impress people by playing sound positional defense.  It's going to be hard to send him back down, but I don't know how the Caps will manage the salary cap issue.  Milan Jurcina plays better with Alzner than with John Erskine and his blocked shot late in the third helped preserve the shutout.  
  • Alex Ovechkin, 2nd star of the game continued his 10 game scoring streak with the 2nd goal of the game from an unbelievable angle.  I thought he was too far past the net, but not Ovie. Nicklas Backtrom got the assist and both he and Viktor Kozlov played great for the top line again.
  • Tomas Fleischmann got the first goal of the game, after stealing the puck, on a pretty pass back and forth play with Michael Nylander
  • David Steckel netted the 3rd with a blind toss to the net that went in.  
  • The Caps weren't expected to win this game against a Montreal Canadien team that just beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on the road.  But, the Caps call ups did their job and, in fact, the defense was stellar last night.
  • The organizational depth that this team has here and in the AHL and ECHL is a credit to GM George McPhee (I can't believe I said that as I don't give GMG too many props.), but to win a game against the 5th place team in the East with 1/3 of your players on injured reserve is quite an achievement.
The lowlights:
  • None.  Okay, maybe too many Habs fans at the phone booth, but the place was still rocking the red.
Next up, the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.  The Caps are not nearly as good on the road as they've been at home this year so it'll be a challenge, but maybe the Hershey Bears playing will bring good luck.

Let's go Caps!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ovie's hat trick propels Caps to 5-3 win over Thrashers

With seven starters out with injuries, the Caps called up four Hershey Bears to put a team on the ice against the Atlanta Thrashers in an almost sold out rocking the red pre-Thanksgiving day game.  Top defensive prospect Karl Alzner made his NHL debut and Sami Lepisto joined the blue line while winger Chris Bourque and Graham Mink joined the offense.  After a wearying and injury plagued road trip out West, the four Hershey Bear players gave the Caps the spark and energy they needed to control the game.  Of course, a hat trick from Alex Ovechkin by the 54 second mark of the 2nd period didn't hurt either. 

The highlights:
  • Karl Alzner played a solid even game in his debut and seemed to make Milan Jurcina better.  Coach Boudreau gave him 21+ minutes of ice time so he liked what he saw in Alzner. I like the two of them paired together. Jurcina played even hockey and took two shots on goal.  He's got a monster shot and I want to see it more.
  • Eric Fehr's goal from Tomas Fleischmann and Michael Nylander was a tape-to-tape passing display of beauty that reminded me of how the Detroit Red Wings play.
  • Alex Ovechkin is back with a vengeance.  His hat trick and assist gave him a four point night.  He's now 3rd in total points, 6th in goals just 3 off the leader, 8th in assists and 4th in plus/minus.
  • Viktor Kozlov, 2nd star, netted a goal and 2 assists and Tomas Fleischmann, 3rd star, got 2 assists on the night.
  • The rest of the Hershey Bear calls up played respectably with Chris Bourque getting three shots on goal, Graham Mink tossing four shots on goal and Sami Lepisto netted a point on Ovie's first goal. 
The lowlights:
  • Tom Poti left the game with a groin injury.  It's not supposed to be that bad, but I don't have a whole lot of faith in what we hear from the Caps organization about injuries.  Alexander Semin has been out way longer than expected. That makes 8 Capitals that won't play tonight.  The Caps called up 36-year old defender Bryan Helmer from Hershey.  Tarik has the write up about him here. 
The injuries are getting ridiculous and the Caps have a tough game tonight against the Montreal Canadiens.  The game is at the phone booth so I hope the home town crowd rocks the red and helps the guys get through this.

Let's go Caps!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

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.

The highlights:
  • 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.
The lowlights:
  • 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....
After a 1-3 injury filled road trip, the Caps return to the phone booth for a match against the Atlanta Thrasher.  I keep trying to forget the Caps lost to them 7-4 on opening night.  

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!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Caps get eaten by Sharks

Ugh, there's nothing good to say about the Caps 7-2 loss to the league leading San Jose Sharks. The injury bug is hurting the Caps right now and Sergei Fedorov left the game early with the same ankle injury that's kept him out for a while.  But, that's no excuse for the Caps deplorable showing last night.  The Sharks got 3 goals on the first 5 shots, one of them from Shaone Morrisonn's stick. It's tough to come back after going down 3-0 before the first period is over.  Last night, I felt like goalie Brent Johnson should have been pulled, but he had zero help from the defense and it's probably just as well that Coach Boudreau kept him in versus putting Jose Theodore in with that pathetic defense.  On offense, the top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Viktor Kozlov didn't contribute either.

In summary, the highlights:
  • Donald Brashear getting the best of Jody Shelley in an early fight in the first period.
The lowlights:
  • The defense.
  • The defense.
  • Oh, and the offense, too.
It's only one game (well two stinkers in a row), but I hope the Caps show up in Minnesota tomorrow night for their date with the Wild.

Let's go Caps

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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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Caps hang on to beat Ducks 6-4

The Washington Capitals came out storming last night against the Anaheim Ducks and quickly went up 3-0 on two power play goals (Tomas Fleischmann on a redirect from Mike Green and Mike Green from Michael Nylander) and 1 even strength goal (Nicklas Backstrom from Viktor Kozlov) by 7:13 in the first period. The Caps power play has struggled terribly this season, but scoring on 3 of 8 last night raised their effectiveness to 19.5% and 12th in the league. The Caps ran out backup netminder Jonas Hiller after those 3 goals and faced Jean-Sebastian Giguere for the rest of the game.

Then, the Ducks scored the next two goals to make it 3-2 by the end of the first. Caps came back in the 2nd period early on another power play goal by Alex Ovechkin and added an even strength goal by Matt Bradley to end the 2nd.

Between the goals in the 2nd period, Donald Brashear and George Parros threw down the gloves and went at it. Parros, a 6'5 28-year old enforcer wrapped up Brash's left arm so he got in several good hits but Brashear came back and pounded Parros for a few.

David Steckel added to the Caps goal total about halfway through the 3rd to make it 6-2, but Anaheim didn't give up and scored 27 seconds after Steckel and added another one at the 12:00 mark. The Caps held on though and got the all important two points out of this brutal road trip where they play 4 games in 6 nights.

The highlights:
  • Ovie had a 4 point night with 3 secondary assists on the first 3 goals and his power play goal in the 2nd.
  • Backstrom's goal in the first came from a beautiful dodging around defenders pass by Viktor Kozlov. The top line of Ovie, Backie and Kozlov played well together last night. In fact, Ovie got the first star of the game and Kozlov the third.
  • The Caps focused on getting the puck out of their zone and did it more effectively, particularly, in the first period, than I've seen in a while. In Coach Boudreau's pregame remarks to the press he emphasized that he wanted the Caps to keep the puck out of their zone during the first five minutes of the game. They did and went up 3-0. Gee, really helps to win games when you spend less time in your defense zone!

The lowlights:

  • Mike Green made the play that caused the Duck's first goal. Then, on a typical end-to-end rush by Green with his head down, he got slammed into the end boards by Chris Pronger and left the game with a shoulder injury. Don't know whether or not he'll play tonight, but the injury bug is getting serious for the Caps. It's made more difficult by not having any cap space to bring up guys from Herhsey to fill in. The Caps desperately need cap space which is probably why the Michael Nylander trade rumors are all over various hockey news sources.
  • The defense and netminding, in general, is still a challenge for the Caps. Anytime a team lets in four goals it's not a good night in the defensive zone. I don't see why people continue to praise Jeff Schultz's development. He's young, and I get that he's still developing, but he drives me crazy right now. He was on the ice for 3 of the 4 Anaheim goals and, to be fair, so was Tom Poti. The shocking defensive stat of the night...Milan Jurcina wasn't on the ice for any of Anaheim's goal.
  • Jose Theodore constantly makes me nervous in net. Granted, the defense struggles in front on him, but I'm just not impressed. A quarter of the way into the season and he has yet to establish himself as the #1 netminder for the Caps.
The Caps face the Los Angeles Kings tonight. The Kings are in 13th place in the West so this should be an easier game than last night's. But, it's the Caps and you can never take anything for granted with this team. Plus, I have no idea who is going to play on the blueline if Mike Green can't. Shaone Morrisonn may end up playing but that doesn't make me feel any better about the defense.

Let's go Caps!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ovie & Backie get 1 point for the Caps at 19:59

The Caps played terrible defense last night (from what little of the game I was able to watch) and only got 1 point against the New Jersey Devils based on a heroic effort by Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin to tie the game in regulation with 1 second left.  Backstrom somehow found Ovie through a scrum in front of the Devil's net and Ovie potted the goal over the defender that was in the crease and netminder Scott Clemmensen.   Wow, just wow.  For those of worried about Ovie and Backstrom's slow starts (and I was), they're back!  

This defensive debacle of a game ended at a 5-5 tie and went to the shootout where the Caps aren't terribly successful.  Many fans, including myself, are still questioning why Coach Boudreau keeps putting Ovie on the shootout (we love him, but the shootout is not his friend) and no one has any earthly clue why he picked Boyd Gordon last night to shoot 3rd.  Hmm, I'd pick Matt Bradley before I'd put Gordon on the shootout.  A head scratcher, indeed.

The Caps have a rough road trip against 3 of the top 5 West Coast teams starting on Wednesday.  I hope the defense gets it together before then.

Let's go Caps!

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Theodore and the Caps win 3-1 against the Devils

Jose Theodore played his best game in net as a Washington Capital, making 32 saves.  The game should have been a shutout for Theodore, but the Caps made a bad line change that resulted in a breakaway that led to Patrick Elias potting a goal without being touched.

The Caps look like they're getting their groove back from last season as they're on a five game winning streak.  It's nice to see them rolling even without Sergei Fedorov on the ice.  Shaone Morrison is out, too, but I don't view that as a bad thing since his play this year has been horrible.  Tyler Sloan has been a capable defenseman call up from Hershey and he seems to get more comfortable the more he plays with the team.

The highlights:
  • Brooks Laich gets the hard hat and the important power play garbage goal off a redirect from Alex Ovechkin in the first period.
  • Tomas Fleischmann scored in the 2nd period after being stonewalled by the Devils netminder Scott Clemmensen prior to that.  Fleischmann makes moves on the ice that look Semin-esque at times.  He's playing great hockey.
  • Ovie banged in the empty netter goal in the 3rd to seal the 3-1 victory.  He had another 2 point night. 
  • Viktor Kozlov gets props for scoring his 500th point last night on the Fleischmann goal.
  • There were only 3 penalties last night and the game was pretty ho-hum as usually is the case when playing a trap team like New Jersey.  But, the crowd stayed into the game though and the atmosphere was good.  I enjoyed sitting in section 108 a lot.
The lowlights:
  • Alexander Semin, the league's leading scorer, left with an injury.  It doesn't sound bad though, thankfully.
Coach Boudreau sat Michael Nylander last night and the trade talk went into overdrive on the message boards yesterday.  Nylander has only one point in his last seven games and most people believes that the coach sat him because of it.  Nylander is a good hockey play but I still don't see his style of play fitting in well with the North/South aggressive attacking style of the Caps team that went from last to first when Nylander was out last season.  He plays an East/West control the puck dipsy do kind of game and it drives me nuts at times.  He's scheduled to be back in the lineup tonight so we'll see how he does.

The Caps are in New Jersey for another game against the Devils before heading out West.

Let's go Caps!


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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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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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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Caps beat the Ranger 3-1

The Caps beat the league leading NY Rangers with Brent Johnson in goal and a team that sounded like it wanted to win for once.  They got garbage goals, yeah, from Brooks Laich and Tom Poti and an empty netter from Alexander Semin.   Since I couldn't watch the game, I'll link to Tarik's blog writeup here.  

It sounds like Johnson was stellar, poke checking Chris Drury on a penalty shot, and the defense stepped it up.  Or, like some fans have mentioned is the defense and the team more comfortable playing with Johnson in net?  Good question...

My only disappointment...Ovie didn't score for the 9th game in a row.  I'll be happy when he finds his game.

Tomorrow night, Olie Kolzig returns to town as the Tampa Bay Lightning net minder.  I'll be proudly wearing my Olie jersey.  But......

Let's go Caps!

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Friday, November 07, 2008

The Russian line delivers to get the Caps 2 points

Coach Boudreau put the Russians - Alex Ovechkin, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Semin - together on the top line last night and it worked.  The Russian World Champion gold medalists scored all the goals last night and Ovie got all 3 primary assists in their 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.  First, the Caps had to overcome starting from behind, again, as the Hurricanes scored first at 2:39 in the first period.

Fedorov started the scoring for the Caps in the 2nd period netting one off of Ovie's pass. Semin scored the 2nd goal, a beauty from behind the net and then over Cam Ward, with less than 3 minutes left in the 3rd period.  He got the game winner off another pretty Ovie pass with 11 seconds left. 

Three other players deserve kudos.  Brent Johnson played another solid night in net and Nicklas Backstrom played his best game of the season and he was on the ice for the last two goals.  He needs to play better consistently but maybe he's getting his game back.  Brooks Laich deserves kudos for breaking up a play while hobbling to the bench after blocking a shot.

So, the Caps get two points in their division and come within two of Carolina in the standings. It's only November, but that was an important game, particularly, considering they only play their division rivals six times instead of eight this year.  The game still lacked in many ways like Ovie not scoring, Nylander causing Carolina's 2nd goal, many Caps still forgetting to shoot the puck instead of passing it, 0 for 5 on the power play, Green playing awful defense, the Caps inability to get the puck out of their zone and undisclosed injuries to Fedorov and Shaone Morrisonn which left the Caps with only 5 defensemen.  

The Caps defense is bad enough without being handicapped by only having 5 players even if Morrisonn has been terrible this year.  It's a ridiculous situation for them to be in, caused by them carrying 22 players because they're too close to the salary cap.   

If Feds can play and Morrisonn can't I hope they call up Tyler Sloan instead of putting Feds on defense tomorrow.  Leave the Russian line together for a while, particularly, since they face the red hot NY Rangers tomorrow night.

Let's go Caps!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Caps continue digging a hole

I'm having a hard time mustering enthusiasm for the team and the sport that I love the most lately.   If this team played like they really cared, it'd be a lot easier to cheer them on, win or lose, but the Caps haven't really shown up this season except when they beat Vancouver.   That's the most frustrating part to me.  

Last season, the Caps knew they had to play hard each and every night to achieve the impossible dream of making it from last place in November to first in the SE division and they did.  So, what in the world are they waiting for this season? The goal this year wasn't just to make it to the playoffs, but to advance past the first round, something the Caps haven't done in ten very long years.

On Tuesday, the Caps lost in overtime 2-1 to the Ottawa Senators.   Luckily, they got 1 point out of that game on the back of a stellar performance by net minder Brent Johnson.  He made 42 saves and his poke check save on Daniel Alfredsson's breakaway was a thing of beauty.   Brent Johnson will be in net tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes as he should be.

The Caps now have 12 points out of 11 games which puts them in 18th place in the league as of today.  Yuck.  I hope they start playing up to their potential.

Tonight, the SE division leading Carolina Hurricanes come to the phone booth.

Let's go Caps!

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Ugh...Caps disappear

There is not much to say about that disgusting 5-0 loss the Buffalo Sabres handed to the Caps on Saturday night. Just glad I was busy with company so I didn't have to actually watch that game.

They face the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. Here's hoping they show up.

Let's go Caps!

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