Thursday, September 21, 2006

Lightning 3, Capitals 2 (OT)

Every once in a while there are games that would appear from the date or the standings or some other traditional barometer of importance to be relatively meaningless but which, for varying reasons, carry with them the intensity usually reserved for only the most crucial of tilts. Announcers, analysts and writers are contractually-bound to refer to these games as having "playoff-like atmospheres," and the fans lucky enough to be in attendance for these battles spend the night on the edge of their seats with elevated heart rates screaming themselves hoarse.

Last night's game was not one of those games.

The Caps dropped a 3-2 game to the Lightning in front of just over 8,000, and, as Dave Fay put it, the loss "looked familiar," rife with bad penalties, an ineffective powerplay and mediocre penalty-killing (though mediocre penalty-killing may actually be a step up for this squad).

A quick run-down of what I liked and what I didn't from last night (and for more, check out this thread from the Caps message board recapping the game):
  • Alex Semin looked good, though at times tried to dance with the puck too much in his own zone. His goal was a beautiful shot, and he was actually 4-for-7 in the faceoff dot - pretty impressive, especially for a winger. He also went face-first into the boards and lay on the ice for a few minutes for the scary moment of the night. The way that kid plays, he could get killed on any given shift.
  • Olie Kolzig looked very sharp, for the most part.
  • Ben Clymer was solid if not spectacular on D, catching up to a few partial breakaways from behind and playing Vinny Lecavalier well in a 1-v-1 situation. He did, however, fail to tie up the man in front on Tampa's first goal.
  • I like Mike Green. A lot.
  • Kris Beech made a couple of nice passes that were not converted.
  • Richard Zednik is just as disappointing as when he left, showing nothing over sixty minutes except a propensity to be out of position and in other people's way.
  • Brian Pothier looked mediocre, especially when he kicked Tampa's second goal into his own net. Remember all the good bounces you got in Ottawa, Brian? Don't expect 'em here.
  • The faceoffs were pretty bad and will continue to be so all year, I fear. Other than Semin's win percentage, the one brightspot in the faceoff dot was the Brooks Laich draw win that led to the Semin goal.
  • Eric Fehr looked terrible, failing multiple times to clear the puck out of the defensive zone on set plays and taking two bad penalties.
  • Rico Fata and Matt Bradley are just taking up space at this point.
  • Finally, the biggest ovation of the night may have gone up when the Arena showed some Asian kid doing The Robot (among other killer moves), further confirming what I've noted before: Caps fans love dancing Asians.

That's pretty much all I've got for now, though I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that the Lightning dressed a guy (Mitch Fritz) who is listed at 6'8", 258 and looks even bigger - an absolute mountain of a man.


fauxrumors said...

The Potheir was an unlucky bounce. We felt he looked good otherwise. semin was all over the ice, and if he continues will be a nice addition. We agree with Zednik. Where was he?? Played with AO, and still did little. Fata is fast, but has hands of stone. If Clymer is a top defensemen that means that on eof the younger guys: Emminger/Morrisonn, or Green won't get as much playing time?

JP said...

"Semin was all over the ice[.]"


And I'm confused - you agree with Zednik that Semin will be a nice addition?

Japers' Rink: Bring strong grammar or go home!

Btw, the Pothier goal wasn't an unlucky bounce, it was a poor reaction (or rather lack thereof). But yeah, he didn't look horrendous otherwise.

And if Clymer's a top 4 D, it's Green who will lose ice time, though not too much.

fauxrumors said...

No JP, we agree with Jasper's assessment that Zednik was a non factor.
Hard to agree with Potheir's "poor reaction". He's not a goalie. On a 5-3 that is the risk that soemtimes happens when your the defense standing to keep the crease clear. It was bang-bang play.

fauxrumors said...

Japers' Rink: Bring strong grammar or go home!

If one can't get over a few typos/grammatical errors they should consider 'getting a life.'
Carry on.

JP said...

Dude(s): chill out. We at Japers' (not Jasper's, fyi) Rink feel that if one can't detect a little sarcasm and/or harmless ribbing, this isn't the right blog for them to be reading and they should stick to Eklund-esque rumor mongering.

fauxrumors said...

We assumed, perhaps wrongly, that if one can write sarcasm, then one can read it as well.
Didn't see any 'rumor mongering', but I'll be on the outlook for it.
Carry on.

JP said...

I cannot yet read - though learning to do so is on my "to do" list.

I guess I'm just bitter that you're stealing all that traffic from my blog on gossip related to Vietnamese noodle soup: Pho Rumors.

kevin s. said...

I think it's safe to say we're missing Halpie on those faceoffs, eh?

fauxrumors said...

Why is anyone surprised the caps aren't good on faceoffs? They don't have a real center!

JP said...

No one's surprised that they're bad in the dot. We're just bemoaning the fact that it wasn't addressed in the offseason as if it didn't matter.

That said, I look for Sutherby and Laich to both improve in that area of their respective games.

Embrace the Dull said...

when fauxrumor's posts "we" are there two people typing, is there more than one person resposible for the site (and given the intellectual scope of the blog, that would be not only plausible, but expected) or is he one of two twins contoined at the douche?

There are many questions here.