Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Roundup/Caps 5, Bolts 3

[AP Recap - Boxscore - Super Stats - Postgame]

That worked out well, didn't it? A pair of goals to get the captain off the schneid, and, quite frankly, he could have easily had a couple more. But we'll certainly take it and the 5-3 win, which improves the Caps intra-divisional record to a sparkling 3-0, outscoring their Southeast Division rivals 10-4. Some quick thoughts on the game:
  • You can put any game in which Brooks Laich, David Steckel and Chris Clark score in the win column without looking at anything else. Period.
  • Say what you want about Brian Pothier, but his willingness to shoot the puck from the point deserves mention, and it led directly to the fourth goal. For the game, Potsy had two assists and was plus-four. Cheers.
  • Speaking of that goal, if you ever wondered why the NHL awards a secondary assist (and no, it's not so Sidney Crosby can win scoring titles), look no further than Michael Nylander's pass to Pothier on that second Clark goal. It was breathtaking.
  • Y'know, I had a lot of respect for Vinny Lecavalier when he dropped the mittens with Jarome Iginla during the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals. I lost most of that respect tonight when he jumped Shaone Morrisonn.
  • By the way, kudos to the refs for calling that sequence perfectly. Vinny deserved each of the four penalties he was given.
  • Dare I bring up the 0-for-4 power play that surrendered a shorty? For tonight, I'll lay off it, but don't think that it's going unnoticed, and not only by me.
  • Alex Ovechkin attempted 16 shots on goal tonight, with six getting to the goal.
  • Does anyone believe that Steve Eminger is 100% healthy? Probably not anyone who has seen Jeff Schultz's play so far this year (despite the plus-three night he managed to put together).
  • Steckel's first NHL goal (congrats) came on a beautiful feed from AO. In fact, all four of the Caps goals on Denis came as the result of well-developed plays.
  • Olie Kolzig made a big save after the double-minor on which the Caps failed to score, and had a solid if unspectacular game.
  • Awesome to see Goat leading "Let's Go Caps" from the owner's box.
  • Alex Semin looked very rusty, but did unleash that wicked wrister at one point, and it got on Marc Denis so fast he was lucky it hit him - otherwise it was headed for the back of the net.
  • Mike Green looked good, but ended up a team-worst minus-two. He was way out of position on the first goal (set up by a nice pass from Brad Richards).
  • If Tomas Fleischmann is only going to get three shifts, would the team be better off dressing John Erskine as a seventh defensmen to use exclusively on the penalty kill?
  • Boyd Gordon (12-for-17) and Viktor Kozlov (8-for-11) dominated the faceoff circle. Nylander (3-for-10), not so much.
  • Milan Jurcina had a game-high five hits, but his hugging holding penalty was a bad one.
Next up, Mary Kate, Ashley, Bobby Lou and the Canuckleheads - someone invite Henrik Zetterberg and Mats Sundin to town, because it will be a Swede-filled Friday night at the VC. See you there.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

It's great to see Liz back in the blogosphere.... The Caps are the biggest team in the NHL.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Jarome Iginla (G, 2A, +2, 8 SOG, 2 takeaways, 0 giveaways, 4-for-4 in the faceoff circle)
  • Ross: Alexander Ovechkin, Eric Staal, Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, Bret Hedican (3 points each)
  • Norris: Bret Hedican (G, A, +5, 4 SOG, 2 blocked shots)
  • Vezina: Cam Ward (W, 19 saves on 21 shots against)
  • Richard: Chris Clark, Alex Tanguay, Tomas Holmstrom, Gregory Campbell, Olli Jokinen, Jason Pominville (2G each)
  • Calder: David Steckel (G, +2)
  • Aiken: Henrik Tallinder (0 points, 0 SOG, -4, 2 giveaways, 1 takeaway, 2 penalties including a Delay of Game on which Carolina scored)


ted said...


Let me be the first to congratulate you on your spot on prediction about the power play unit giving up a shorty. True to form they did just that.

The Caps have yet to figure out how to work the puck when the penalty killers are pressuring them.

All-in-all though, I thought the Caps played hard and had some nice rushes up ice. Alex is playing possessed (at both ends) and I was glad he was able to get the EN for his efforts.

Tyler said...

I'm out of town so thanks for this.

Mike Green's speed makes up for a lot. But especially on prolonged stretches of d-zone play he has no idea about positioning. Coach em up boys.

I'm with you on Eminger.

NS said...

random thoughts:

- would probably do AO some good if, in practice, they have 3 guys close in on him so he can perfect a cross ice pass/dump/or simple juke. granted, he's already good at this but it seems this is always happening to him in game

- Shultz is incredibly slow to react/pass in his own zone. I hope Alzner is all he is cracked up to be, as it seems he is the type of player this D line really needs. Too many chances were created because our D did not know how to clear or safely escape their own zone.

- anyone else feel the awkwardness at times of the Semin-Nyles-Backs line? maybe they just need time to gel, but i remember a few plays where they were all in the neutral zone right next to each other and passed it, for no real reason other than thats what they usually do.

- Captain Clark is back. yesssss

- Kozlov is much too slow. Please put him on the wing. AO needs some speed up there with him. Clark, of course, helps.

agree? disagree?


maruk said...


I'm with you on 28-92-19. I can appreciate trying to ease Backstrom in on the wing rather than at center, but he doesn't look comfortable there. He's obviously not a shoot-first guy. At what point do you put him back in the middle?

Rage said...

That sequence that ended with Becks shooting and a great glove save was terrific. Great work by everyone on the ice.

Also, has given the slashing and instigator penalties to Tarnasky in the box score. Got to be an error.

Chris said...

A couple of comments.

First, I remember last year when the Caps got a power play I would look at my wife and say something to the effect of, "Oh, no, now we have to kill another power play." I had hoped that would end this year, but I guess I will have to start saying it again.

Second, I know it is heresy to question Olie, but has anyone else noticed that he has become completely incapable of closing the 5-hole? I mean, it is getting kind of scary. He had better start squeezing the pads soon.

Anonymous said...

yea chris, his 5-hole is bad, especially in shootouts. and for such a big guy, he seems to have trouble going side to side on the lateral dekes. wards goal last night is a perfect example

norske said...

rage, at least Yahoo has it right, since those 19 PIMs are the single most valuable thing Vinny has done for my fantasy team so far this season.