Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Roundup/Caps 5, 'Canes 2

[SeSo Open Thread]

I don't want to go on the cart.

The Caps sure did need that one, eh? A big win in a tough building to end a brutal road trip should give this team the confidence to take care of business at home against Florida Saturday afternoon and head into the All-Star break on a roll.

Last night's win was about Olie Kolzig (34 saves), Alex Semin (the Caps' best player right now), discipline (only three minor penalties taken) and, more than anything, desire. Every player on the Caps who had more than 5:36 had at least one hit (five Caps had at least four hits) or one blocked shot, led by Alex Ovechkin's six hits and Jeff Schultz's three blocked shots. But you had a feeling that the Caps might be leaving Raleigh with two points when Chris Clark's cross-corner dump in was redirected by a 'Cane defenseman into the net vacated by John Grahame who had left to go retrieve the puck. Much the way you knew the Caps were doomed when the puck bounced against them on Daniel Alfredsson's short-handed goal earlier in the week, when you're getting the bounces, everything seems to fall into place around them.

Regarding Semin (sounds like a bad Lifetime movie, doesn't it?), he now has ten goals in the Capitals' last seven games. The last Washington player with 10 or more goals over a seven-game span? Not this guy, but this guy. I love that Semin has nearly caught AO in goals. Judging from a superficial look at their friendship and individual competitiveness, this can only serve to push each of them to best the other in much the same way that Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris pushed each other in 1961.

Finally, it's worth noting that the much-maligned (in these parts at least) CBS line had a very strong game, generating several high-quality scoring chances and delivering a few big hits. Of course, the lack of conversion on some of these chances (I'm looking at you, Ben Clymer), was disappointing, but Step 1 is "Create Opportunities," Step 2 is "Convert Opportunities."

Daily Awards

  • Hart: Brad Richards (2G, game-winning SO goal, +1, 6 SOG in 3-2 win at Jersey)
  • Ross: Ryane Clowe, Patrick Marleau, Marc Savard, Ryan Smyth (3 points each)
  • Norris: Sheldon Souray (GWG, A, 4, SOG, 2 hits)
  • Vezina: Cristobal Huet (W, 44 saves on 45 shots against)
  • Richard: Brad Richards, Ryan Smyth, Alexander Semin, Chris Clark, Evgeni Malkin (2G each)
  • Calder: Evgeni Malkin (2G, 5 SOG)
  • Aiken: Barry Brust (L, 2 goals allowed on 10 shots against in just 18:14 of work)


chanuck said...

IMHO i am not sure that their friendship is superficial. They seem to have a good time with each other during practices. But if a healthy rivalry bring more goals for both, bring it on.

JP said...

Oh, I agree that they look like best buds out there. What I meant was my insight into their friendship is superficial (I have no idea whether or not they actually like each other, it just looks like it to me).

Fauxrumors said...

1) Have to agree that the CBS line had a pretty good game. We'v ebeen one of their consistent critics BUT there has to come a time where someone other than the Alexes or Clark scores some goals
2) Early on looked like Pettinger had finally developed into a 2nd line forward, but since his early good offensive start has struggled. Sutherby, Clymer, etc have struggled to get points ALL season
3) However, nice win. Good to see Kolzig back on his game, and the kid, Schultz, play solidly

Tyler said...

Is there a way we can make it so certain readers don't have to see certain pronoun-challenged commenters?

So what's the deal with Pothier? Is he hurt? Why is no one discussing this? He didn't play the last 30 mins or so. (It's not in Tarik's story either...)

JP said...

Good question - I hadn't noticed it. Hopefully Tarik and/or Vogs will provide info today. I'd assume that "no news is good news," but it should be watched closely.

Tyler said...

Not sure if this link here will work, but the shift chart is here:

No Pothier in the final 27 mins or so.

JP said...

Here's your answer:

"The Capitals did not disclose Pothier’s injury after the game, but they did say they believed it was not serious."

Tyler said...

Thanks. Funny, that wasn't there last night...

And that absolutely should have been in Tarik's gamer, especially with 73 Caps defensemen already out with broken feet.

But Schultzie did play well from what I saw (half the game). And he showed, er, signs of mobility.

Fauxrumors said...

1) Does Hanlon not like players getting hatricks? Seems whenever a player has 2 he goes out of his way to prevent a third.
2) Last night instead of putting Semin out there in the final minute with the game no longer in doubt, he put AO out there to get the empty netter. We could understand not having Semin out there with a one goal game, but once it was 2, why not?!?
3) We've seen him do this in previous games when a player has a pair, and doesn't play him in the final minute or two to get the 'trick

Tyler said...

Maybe Hanlon is trying to prevent Semin from getting a big head which could lead to him obnoxiously referring to himself in the first-person plural.

Fauxrumors said...

Pronouns don't kill, people kill.
Beware of the pronoun!!
Remember to take your Xanax Tyler. LOL

Tyler said...

Faux: Thank you for writing one coherent, pronoun-accurate post. Keep it up.

Scott said...

I saw Pothier get a high elbow hard to the noggin in the corner, and that's when he left the game.

Capital Fanatic said...

Pothier, along with Semin and Brashear, did not practice today. I could not find out from anybody as to what was wrong with each.

Rage said...

I hope tyler and faux fight. They could compare and see whose e-genitalia is bigger.

JP said...


"Alexander Semin, Donald Brashear and Brian Pothier did not skate today because of various, but minor, ailments. Semin is going to play tomorrow, Brashear and Pothier and probable.

"There was some positive news regarding Mike Green, who missed Thursday's game with an injured foot. The rookie skated on his own and afterward said he felt good. So good, in fact, he might play against the Panthers."