When you're the Washington Capitals, you're not going to win many games when you go 1-for-10 on the power play. Or when you go 3-for-10 on the penalty kill. Or when you allow 40 shots on goal. Or when you start Brent Johnson in goal. Or when you're on the road. Or, apparently, when you play the Florida Panthers for that matter. Throw all of these variables together and the result last night was predictable, though not as bad as might have been expected, as the Caps dropped their seventh in a row, 3-2 to the Cats (and, in Johnson's defense, he was pretty solid last night).
The bottom line last night was a familiar one: the Caps simply took too many penalties - deserved or not - to stay in the game. Now the team travels north to Tampa to face a well-rested and somewhat desperate Lightning team, and if they can't stay out of the penalty box, the result will likely be similar to last night's. One can only hope it's not uglier.
On a sidenote, the Caps need to sign or trade for Jon Sim in the offseason (I'm not sure of his contract status). Sim, who had two hat tricks against the Caps in the preseason as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, has continued to torch the Caps all season, scoring his seventh goal of the year against them last night. He has nine goals against the rest of the NHL on the campaign.
Here's the WaPo's recap, and here's the WTimes'.
Thread of the Day: AO Benching Officially Overblown!
- Hart: Justin Williams (Game-winning goal, assist, +2 in big 4-3 win at Buffalo)
- Ross: Jaromir Jagr, Jussi Jokinen (3 points each)
- Norris: Scott Niedermayer (2 goals, 3 shots on goal, hit, takeaway, no giveaways)
- Vezina: Roberto Luongo (Win, 2 goals against on 30 shots)
- Richard: Jaromir Jagr (3 goals)
- Calder: Jussi Jokinen (Goal, 2 assists, +2)
- Aiken, Pt. I: J.-S. Giguere (3 goals against on 10 shots in just 10:39 before being pulled, down 3-0, and subsequently bailed out by his team in 5-4 OT win)
- Aiken, Pt. II: Martin Straka (0 points, 0 shots on goal, -3, on ice for all non-PP Flyers goals in 6-3 loss)