Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Roundup/Caps 7, 'Canes 3

[SeSo Open Thread]

Just when you think you've figured this team out, they go and do something like this... and totally redeem themselves. Last night's 7-3 whooping of Carolina in as close to a January "must win" as you could find, has to have the Caps and their faithful back in good spirits - at least for a day or two. Some notes:
  • Eric Fehr's first NHL goal was a beauty - and he nearly had his second as well. When the Caps had goals from Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin and Fehr on the board, one couldn't help thinking about the trio in comparison to Pittsburgh's trio of young guns. And, oh yeah, the Caps still have their world-class playmaker waiting in the wings.
  • Speaking of the Alexes, the fact that they jumped the Caps out to a 3-0 lead on three unassisted goals speaks to their desire and ability to carry the team. Not all leaders are vocal or have letters on their sweaters.
  • Ya think the Caps' scouting report on Cam Ward reads "shoot high glove side"?
  • Jeff Schultz played 19:20, was +4 and had 3 blocked shots. Probably his best game as a Cap.
  • Schultz's minutes came at the expense of Mike Green, who's turnover that led to Erik Cole's goal resulted in Greenie getting only 8:22 of ice time (only Kris Beech and The Donald had less) for the night. Green has clearly hit some sort of wall, as his play has been subpar for a couple of weeks now.
  • Shaone Morrisonn was a beast, hitting hard and playing well. Yes, he was minus-one, but I thought he still had a very solid game.
  • The line combinations looked great - I love Matt Pettinger on the third line, giving Fehr a chance to succeed on the second and bumping Ben Clymer down to the fourth (giving him the occassional shift in Fehr's place on the second).
  • Boyd Gordon won 7 of 12 draws from Rod Brind'Amour. Amazing? No, but worth noting.
  • The Caps and 'Canes season series is tied a three wins apiece, and no game's final score has been closer than three goals. Odd. Olie Kolzig (who was solid, if unspectacular last night) has all three Caps wins, and one wonders if he shouldn't have started both games this weekend.
  • The crowd of 16,924 (!) was one of the loudest of the year, and there was only a smattering of red in the building.
  • Finally, I got the chance to meet another Rink Reader last night and it served as a good reminder of why, in part, I do this - the free beer meeting nice new folks. Cheers, Jason (and Ken, as always).
Off to Ottawa for Tuesday night's tilt with the white-hot Sens. Richard Zednik may be back in the lineup, but with the way Eric Fehr played last night, maybe there's no need to rush Z back.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Ryan Smyth (2G, including the game-winner, 2A, +4 in 4-3 win)
  • Ross: Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky, Sidney Crosby, Mark Recchi (4 points each)
  • Norris: Pavel Kubina (2G, A, +1, 3 blocked shots)
  • Vezina: Ray Emery (W, 29 saves on 30 shots against)
  • Richard: Alex Semin, Ryan Smyth, Steve Sullivan, Pavel Kubina, Aaron Asham, Jochen Hecht, Martin Erat, Rostislav Olesz (2G each)
  • Calder: Eric Fehr (1st NHL goal is the game-winner, +2)
  • Aiken: Cam Ward (L, 7 goals allowed on 23 shots against)


Tyler said...

I agree on Schultz... except when he had to play the puck. His passes out of the zone were, uh, adventurous.

I think Mike Green's wall is his foot injury. He wasn't skating well at all last night -- his every movement was stiff and labored. Given the Caps other blue-line injuries he had to play, but I gotta think that if Erskine and Muir were back that Green's foot would get some healing time.

The Peerless said...

Right down to the number, I thought I was watching another goaltender last night who once had noteworthy success early in his career before a yawning chasm over his glove hand was revealed and abused . . .

. . . Jim Carey.

Tyler said...

The one thing about Ward & the glove tho: The Caps' first three goals were unassisted (!). There were a lot of white sweaters walking in on him...

Tyler said...

Er, black sweaters. We wear black at home. Doh,

Pete said...

Ward's glove? Nah...

Just the opposite, EddieTheEagle had his glove ready every time ALex&Alex were shooting...

Panthers commentators were saying about good scouting report on A&A... Apparently Ward didn't listen...

JP said...

No doubt that scouting report goes both ways. If goalies spent 60 minutes a night with their gloves covering the top right (looking at the goal) corner, Semin wouldn't score another goal.

Pete said...

After debuting a blue mirrored visor in the All-Star Game, Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin was back to his usual smoked black visor Friday and Saturday.

“The boss said no,” Ovechkin said, referring to Capitals general manager George McPhee.