Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wednesday Roundup/Thrashers 2, Caps 1 (OT)

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Super Stats]

If a game is played and it's not televised, did it really happen?

Since only a few thousand folks saw the game live (thanks to commentor Dan, Jr. for letting us know that Comcast Sportsnet will be showing a replay of the game at 11:30 this morning, and it may be "On Demand" earlier), and because it's damn-near impossible to tell from Steve Kolbe's call who's playing well and who's stinkin' the place up, here are a few quick thoughts based largely on the stats:
  • Brent Johnson's 29 saves on 31 shots against would suggest he deserved better than the result he got.
  • Tom Poti made a surprise return to the lineup and logged a team-high 25:12 of ice time.
  • The Caps came out strong, outshooting the Thrashers 16-6 in the first, but when they had nothing to show for it (and were 0-for-3 on the power play), you knew what was going to happen. They were outshot 25-16 the rest of the way, got only one more power play, and had to kill six penalties of their own.
  • To that end, the penalty killers sounded great, doing their job all six times they were called on, and 1-for-4 on the power play is a perfectly acceptable percentage.
  • Of course, the discipline simply wasn't there in the second half of the game, as the Caps took six different minor penalties in the game's last 33 minutes, and every one was a hook or a hold. Inexcusable.
  • There's been a Steve Eminger sighting! Retire the milk carton! Or not - apparently it wasa flat-footed Eminger who was responsible for the Ilya Kovalchuk goal.
  • The Caps won only 21 of the game's 49 faceoffs, an uncharacteristically low percentage (43%). Nicklas Backstrom (0-for-3), Viktor Kozlov (1-for-4) and Michael Nylander (6-for-16) had a combined winning percentage of 30%. Ouch.
  • Chris Bourque's NHL debut was nothing to write home about - 11:58 of ice time, two shots on goal, two hits, one penalty - though he did have one great chance, according to our buddy The Falconer (who was at the game and ran into CBo's dad in the elevator!).
  • Alex Ovechkin produced one of his worst stat lines of the season - two shots on goal, eight attempted/blocked/missed shots, three giveaways and only one hit.
  • Hopefully Milan Jurcina's healthy scratch gets him motivated to start playing like he did during the second half of last season.
  • Ondrej Pavelec was the latest in the line of goalies who the Caps made look like the second coming of Ken Dryden. Too bad Tampa's only on the schedule eight times.
  • Every point helps. Even this one.
Next up? A trip to Ottawa for a Thursday matchup with the Sens. If the last-in-the-East Caps are looking for rock bottom, they may very well find it in Kanata.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Wanna see "Steve Eminger" and "Macarena" in the same sentence? Click here.... On this date in 1981 the Caps retired Yvon Labre's #7. Labre had 12 goals and 84 assists in 334 games for the Caps. On a totally unrelated note, has a team ever unretired a number?... Weekly power rankings with the Caps at 26th, 28th and 29th.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Ondrej Pavelec (W, 31 saves on 32 shots against)
  • Ross: seven players tied with 2 points apiece
  • Norris: Paul Mara (G, A, +2, 2 blocked shots)
  • Vezina: Ondrej Pavelec (W, 31 saves on 32 shots against)
  • Richard: 14 players tied with 1 goal apiece
  • Calder: Ondrej Pavelec (W, 31 saves on 32 shots against)
  • Aiken: Vesa Toskala (L, 4 goals allowed on 13 shots against in just 28:08 of work)


Anonymous said...

It doesnt help either when our best player has 1 point in the last 4 games.

b.orr4 said...

Couple of points. Getting out shot in the 2nd and 3rd periods probably had more to do wtih the five powerplays they had to kill than lack of effort. And I wouldn't be too hard on Eminger. Kovalchuk has done that to a lot better defensemen than Steve.

false_cause said...

The NHL Network had highlights from the game.

Eminger doesn't really deserve a ton of blame for the Kovalchuk goal as the move he put on was pretty ready for the highlight reel. If anyone looked flat on that play it was BJ in net.

kb said...

Thanks for the update, false. How bad was the GWG?

Christopher said...

I did not see this game, but they had FIVE penalties in the last two periods??? If you have to take five penalties in two periods, that itself is usually evidence enough of lack of effort.

I think that I am going to have to refuse to attend any Caps game until they play a game without taking a insanely stupid penalty. That should save me a lot of heartbreak and a lot of money.

NS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NS said...

WOW. Last place in Eastern Conference. One point better than Edmonton in the West.

Another high draft pick coming our way if this continues...

DMG said...

The Kovalchuk move simply a thing of beauty, I wouldn't fault Eminger too much. You get left alone against Kovalchuk and you're going to get beat sometimes, no matter who you are.

The penalties were obviously the result of the refs over-compensating for the fact they only called penalties on Atlanta in the first (I was at the game). The Caps did take some penalties (which is ok, it happens) but the refs missed some much more blatent hooks and holds on the Thrashers

TJ said...

I think you can catch the highlights off the NHL networks on the fly show.

See the link on this page for the game highlights.

Focality said...

NHL on the Fly has (or had) the highlights, with comments mostly on Atlanta, particularly Kovalchuk and the recent success under Waddell.

From the highlights, it looks like the Caps new lines were clicking but just need more practice together to put 'em home. Less time off and more practice ought to help.

And discipline.

What about CBo, think he should spend some more time in the NHL? I'd like to see what the Hershey fans are talking about.

Agreed on what people are saying about Eminger. Kovalchuk's just that sort of player. If he hadn't left the game I think he would have put at least one more behind Johnson.