Monday, March 14, 2011

Wow, that was impressive Caps

The Caps took their "A" game to the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks with a hard working, up tempo 3-2 win in overtime on a beautiful game winning goal by Mike Knuble.  Knuble stood in front of the goalie and moved the puck and his stick from one side to the other before twisting around and lifting it past the goalie's pad. That play illustrated how important veterans are to hockey teams as they progress through the playoffs.  He may have lost a step this year, but I'll take his experience and patience any day to mix in with the Caps younger players.

Marcus Johansson made the smart move to send the puck to Mike Knuble's waiting stick instead of trying to shove it into the net.  The young Swede is going to be an impressive hockey player in this league.  He's played well on the top line in the absence of injured Nicklas Backstrom.

The entire Caps team played a smart hockey game today.  It was one of their very few complete games of the season where they played the full sixty minutes and everyone was out there hustling.  It was a blast to watch.

The difference in this team with the addition of trade deadline acquisitions Jason Arnott and Dennis Wideman supported by the earlier season pick up of Scott Hannan is night and day.  This team has won their last 8 games, with 7 of those being one goal games and many of them being come from behind after giving up the first goal in the first period.  The younger players are clearly benefiting from veteran leadership, something they've needed for a long time.  So, I'll tip my hat to GMGM for once.  He made some good trades this year.  Still, nothing counts until the playoffs.

Braden Holtby played well enough in net again to get the win although, at times, his inexperience showed.  He won the first star of the week on so congrats Holtby. More on the goalies in my next post...

Caps begin a rough six game road trip tomorrow in Montreal.

Let's go Caps!

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