Tough loss. I've talked about how good teams learn how to win through tough losses and to that extent, this loss hopefully will be a "good" thing. But it doesn't feel good right now. You're supposed to win games when you have two-goal leads more than half-way through the game. You're supposed to win games when Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa combine for two assists and six shots on goal. You're supposed to win games when you don't allow a powerplay goal against.
Then again, you're not supposed to win games when you allow 18 shots against in a single period. Or when you're outhit 22 to 11. Or when you can only muster up seven shots in a third period in which you're trailing by one.
The bottom line, as Chris Clark put it, is that the team has "had leads plenty of times this year and blown them, and that's something [they] have to turn around." Bingo.
Now, suddenly, the Caps aren't the team that earned at least a point in eight of 11 games. They're the team that has only four wins in 12 games. Saturday night's game in Philly will be a huge test - probably more mental than physical - for this young team. Let's hope they pass.
The WaPo recaps the game here, the WTimes here.
Thread of the Day
- Official Freak-out Thread If The Game Goes Poorly: Sat. 4 Nov. '06 (Typically brilliant humor from Netsy)
- Mike Vogel reports that there were a bunch of scouts at last night's game, but says that means nothing. Stop hedging, Mike - either the team's gonna make a move or not. Go out on a limb and pick one.
- Dan Steinberg hijacked Alex Ovechkin's iPod and talked about the Caps' most hated rival (though until the two teams play a playoff series against one another, I don't buy it).
- Tarik el Bashir discussed AO's future web presence.
- OFB calls out the MSM. FYI.
- Southeast Division Player of the Day: Steve Rucchin (GWG, A, +3)
- Hart: Steve Rucchin (GWG, A, +3)
- Ross: Chris Pronger, Teemu Selanne, Daymond Langkow (3 points each)
- Norris: Chris Pronger (G, 2A, +1)
- Vezina: Ilya Bryzgalov (W, 25 saves on 27 shots against)
- Richard: David Vyborny, Dainius Zubrus (2G each)
- Calder: Dustin Penner (G)
- Aiken: Curtis Joseph (L, 5 goals allowed on 21 shots against in 40 minutes of work)