Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tuesday Roundup/'Yotes 3, Caps 2

[NHL.com Recap - WashingtonCaps.com Postgame Coverage]

Three numbers (or groups of numbers) added up for a disappointing 3-2 New Year's Day defeat for the Caps yesterday at the V.C.:
  • 2:02. That's the time of the first period at which Owen Nolan opened the game's scoring scoring. The slow start (which has become troublingly common lately) dogged the Caps all afternoon and the the team is now 3-14-4 when allowing the first goal and 13-3-3 when scoring first. More stats: the Caps are 11-3-2 when leading after one period, 12-0-2 when leading after two, 1-11-3 when trailing after one period and 1-16-0 when training after two. Think a good start is important? I like Glen Hanlon a lot, but how can the team's failure to be prepared for a game from the opening puck drop not be a coaching issue?
  • 1-for-7. That was the Caps' power-play efficiency yesterday, including a :58 5-on-3 in the third period trailing by one on which they failed to score. The power play is broken right now, and its increasingly-rare successes are more the result of individual talent and effort than the result of a well-designed scheme.
  • 2-for-5. That was the Caps' penalty kill efficiency yesteday. Needless to say, 60% isn't good enough.
That just about sums it up. On the plus side, Brians Pothier and Sutherby each finally scored goals (the first of the season for the former, the second for the latter), and the team seems to be getting healthier. But this team needs to get better from the opening faceoff and play a full sixty minutes every night and the special teams need to improve. Sound familiar?

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Slava Kozlov (2G, including OT game-winner, +2, 5 SOG)
  • Ross: Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Marian Hossa (3 points each)
  • Norris: Brian McCabe (2A, +1, 3 SOG, 3 hits, 3 blocked shots)
  • Vezina: Ryan Miller (W, 31 saves on 33 shots against)
  • Richard: Slava Kozlov, Mats Sundin, Jason Arnott, Wojtek Wolski (2G each)
  • Calder: Wojtek Wolski (2G, +3, 3 SOG, 2 hits, 1 takeaway)
  • Aiken: Tim Thomas (L, 5 goals allowed on 35 shots against)


Fauxrumors said...

1) Didn't see yesterday's game, but a loss at home to the 'Yotes is unacceptable even if they are playing better lately, and the Caps have some health issues
2) You are dead on in taking Hanlon to task with the team's slow starts AND special teams problems. Success in the 'New NHL' even more than the old, starts and ends with special teams.

JP said...

Quote of the Day, from the East Valley Tribune (whatever that is) via The Bog:

As for his groin, Jovanovski said it felt good throughout the game but cautioned he may not be 100 percent yet.

“Groins are very touchy,” he said. “I’ll get a good day of rest (today) and see how it is the next day.”

The Peerless said...

Here's another number . . . 36.7. That was the faceoff winning percentage the Caps had yesterday. That's part of a disturbing trend. This is a club that needs to do the little things well, and faceoffs are one of those things that folks might not pay a lot of attention to, but could be important in the puck-possession NHL. That the Caps would lose 38 of 60 faceoffs tells me they were lucky to keep it to a one-goal loss. They had similar results against Buffalo and were run out of the building, 6-3.

JP said...

Unquestionably problematic. As I commented on your blog (I believe), the team is not a strong puck-control squad to begin with, so losing offensive and defensive zone draws really starts them out at a huge disadvantage.