I think my feelings on the season so far can best be summarized in this not-for-the-easily-offended and (depending upon where you work) not safe for work montage. Now that that's out of the way...
Half-way through last night's game in Tampa, the Caps and Bolts were tied at two. By the time the buzzer sounded to end the second period, the visitors were facing a two-goal deficit and, for all intents and purposes, the game was over.
Chalk it up to playing the second of back-to-back road games, a blown non-call by a linesman or whatever other reason you've got, but in the standings it's just another loss for a team that is now 3-11-1 since three straight wins to start the season. Some other thoughts on the conclusion of a fruitless trip to the Sunshine State:
- Tampa's three even-strength goals had two noteworthy things in common: Michael Nylander and Viktor Kozlov were on the ice.
- Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin were a dominant duo in the first period, but #8 was largely on his own thereafter.
- Stop me if you've heard this one before, but both special teams stunk (0-for-4 on the power play, 2-for-4 on the penalty kill) and the team didn't get enough of the shots it attempted through to the opposing goalie (30 shots on goal, another 37 attempted, blocked or missed).
- More on that last stat - the Caps got 45% of their attempted shots on goal, while the Bolts got 52% of their shot in on (or behind) Brent Johnson.
- It's been a week since I asked whether it was possible that Milan Jurcina actually stinks. After his giveaway last night that led to the Jan Hlavac goal and subsequent benching, we may be getting closer to an answer to that question (and to another Steve Eminger sighting).
- Someone give me a good reason why the Caps shouldn't claim Ilya Bryzgalov off waivers, and I'll give you a good reason they should (hint: his initials are B.J.).
- Only three Caps have more goals on the season than Brooks Laich. Good on Brooksie. Bad on nearly all of his teammates.
- Why did it take so long for a Cap to show up when Ryan Craig was getting up in AO's grill after a second period whistle? Oh yeah, because Jeff Schultz was the nearest guy in a white jersey.
- Hey, Vinny - as long as you're up there, how 'bout picking some cherries for the rest of us?
- Here's a brutal stat for you - the Caps are now 0-10 when allowing a power-play goal in a game.
"You sound like a broken record, you work hard and you're not getting rewarded. Normally, if you would lose some games like this and you'd have a practice the next day, you'd have certain things to work on. But what do you work on (after this game)?"Uh, Coach... if you have to ask...
Next up, the Panthers at the V.C. on Monday night. Things have to get better, right? Right?!
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
CNNSI.com's Allan Muir shares his thoughts on how "six staggering teams" can save their respective seasons. Judging from his omission of the Caps from that list, perhaps one can assume that he either doesn't consider them to be staggering or that he doesn't believe their season can be saved. Any bets on which it is?... Last night, NBC Nightly News ran a great feature on a great guy - former Cap Joe Juneau.... Wes Goldstein is ready to call Tom Poti a bust. Are you?... Jakub Klepis had a four-point night for Hershey last night.
- Hart: Jussi Jokinen (4G, including the game-winner, +4, 5 SOG)
- Ross: Jussi Jokinen, Sergei Zubov (4 points each)
- Norris: Sergei Zubov (4A, +2)
- Vezina: Johan Hedberg (31-save shutout win)
- Richard: Jussi Jokinen (4G)
- Calder: Clarke MacArthur (2G, +2, 2 SOG)
- Aiken: Josh Harding (L, 3 goals allowed on 11 shots against in just 11:59 of work)