Well, the initial adrenaline rush that accompanied the coaching change has worn off leaving the same Caps team trying to learn a new system. The result? What we saw Wednesday night. A few thoughts on the game:
- If Tomas Vokoun catches with his left hand, the Caps win that game. Period.
- He doesn't, and they didn't. Period.
- Neither Chris Clark nor Alex Semin were available for the shootout. Semin's injury would appear to be that same ol' ankle, and he's day-to-day, and Clark's malady wouldn't seem to be significant.
- Both Vokoun and Olie Kolzig were awesome through overtime but beatable in the shootout (I wonder what the highest combined total in a shootout is).
- It was awfully nice of Brooks Laich to wear the #21 in honor of Sean Taylor. It was nicer still to see Shaone Morrisonn honor Taylor by hitting everything that moved early on.
- Speaking of Laich, if you want to see what his shootout move looks like when it's successful, it's #6 here (and I could easily go another 35 games without seeing the Caps in one of those skill competitions).
- Last word on Laich - he's always a good guy to talk to, and last night was no exception. Check out his post game interview (warning: MP3).
- It took the Caps more than ten minutes to get their first shot of the second period, meaning that in the other 55 minutes of hockey, the team fired 33 shots on goal (11 of which came off Alex Ovechkin's stick).
- The Caps won a paltry 44% of the game's faceoffs, with Nicklas Backstrom going 0-for-8 and Viktor Kozlov only slightly better at 1-for-6.
- If only David Steckel could lift the puck.
- Another 30+ minutes of ice time for Tom Poti, and a hair over 30 for AO as well.
- Why can't the Caps get players like Richard Zednik?
- Finally, if a picture's worth a thousand words, this one that KB took in the locker room post game says it all:
Next up, the Hurricanes in Raleigh on Friday night. Then the Panthers. Again.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
Michal Neuvirth was named to the Czech World Junior team.... Happy 58th birthday to #7, Yvon Labre.
- Hart: Mike Knuble (G, 2A, +2, 3 SOG)
- Ross: Mike Knuble, Pat Kane, Milan Hejduk (3 points each)
- Norris: Andrej Meszaros (2G, 4 blocked shots)
- Vezina: Tomas Vokoun (32 saves on 33 shots against in shootout win)
- Richard: Andrej Meszaros, Martin Havlat (2G each)
- Calder: Pat Kane (3A, +2)
- Aiken: Johan Holmqvist (3 goals allowed on 10 shots against in just 40 minutes of work)