Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lackluster Caps lose 3-0 to Blue Jackets

Steve Mason, the rookie net minder for the Columbus Blue Jackets and league leader in GAA and save percentage blanked the Capitals last night in a 3-0 lost just like he did in their prior meeting.   He was awarded the first star of the game and stopped 45 shots.  It felt like watching the Caps ineffectively throwing a million shots at Scott Nittymaki against the Flyers in their 7-1 loss.

The Caps need to figure out a way to get the puck past strong goalies.  Last night, the Caps couldn't get a rebound or garbage goal because there was never anyone in position to capitalize on a rebound or to crash the net.  

The highlights:

  • I thought David Steckel had a  good night. He hit well, used his body effectively and won 67% of his faceoffs.  He did have 2 giveaways but overall I noticed him a lot and in a good way.
  • Mike Green played 31:50 of even hockey with 4 takeaways and also had an effective game.
  • And, that's about it for the highlights.
The lowlights:

  • The line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin played totally ineffective hockey and were too cute, at times.  Coach Boudreau replaced Semin with Viktor Kozlov on that line later in the game, thankfully. 
  • Ovie gave his all on a couple of really strong shots on net, but Mason was too good. 
  • Alexander Semin looked overall horrible last night.  For whatever reason, he seems to have forgotten how to shoot the puck.  I expect him to get his game on track, but last night was a stinker.
  • The defense struggled all night, including top rookie, Karl Alzner, and Milan Jurcina. Jurcina's bobbled pass play resulted in R.J. Umberger's first goal.
  • It was nice to see Sergei Fedorov and Tomas Fleischmann on the ice again, but neither contributed much although Fleischmann had 3 takeaways.  It's clear the lines need to regain their chemistry with the additions of the returning players.
The Caps headed to Montreal last night for a rematch against the Habs.  If the Caps win, Bruce Boudreau coaches the joke that is known as the NHL All-star game.  If they lose, Guy Carbonneau goes.  I only care about the the Caps getting 2 points so...

Let's go Caps!

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