Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Roundup/Habs 5, Caps 2

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Super Stats - Postgame]

On some nights, you're the big dog. On others, you're the fire hydrant. Thursday night at the VC was a bit more of the latter for the Caps as they ran into a hot goalie, had trouble on the penalty kill and missed converting a couple of chances of their own en route to a 5-2 loss. Some thoughts on the game:
  • Jeff Schultz played the Alexei Kovalev/Tomas Plekanec first period 2-on-1 beautifully.
  • Shaone Morrisonn can't leave his man alone on top of the crease with the puck behind the net on a power play, or you get what you got on the Habs' first goal.
  • Chipchura sounds sounds like something I'd order at Taco Bell.
  • The Habs scored on their second power play with Tom Poti in the box, but I blame the penalty on Tomas Fleischmann's brain cramp giveaway at the blueline.
  • Was I the only one expecting Mike Green to stop to fix his hair after Mike Komisarek separated him from his helmet? Green had another solid game, finishing with seven shots on goal, an even rating and only one giveaway in a game-high 30:12 of ice time (nearly eight minutes more than any other Cap).
  • Losing Brian Pothier for a few weeks with a broken thumb will hurt. Say what you want about him, but he's a 19-minute guy who can play in all situations, and the Caps sure don't have six more of those. Heck, do they have two? Sidenote: Here's hoping Steve Eminger gets a sweater tomorrow night and not John Erskine, though I'd be shocked if that's what happens.
  • Apparently Locker's favorite new phrase is "soap on a rope." Personally, I'm waiting for him to drop "Soul on roll, but you treat it like soap on a rope 'cause the beats in the lines are so dope."
  • Michael Nylander and Nicklas Backstrom swapped lines in the third period and the Backstrom-centered second line produced instant dividends (the Alex Semin goal). One wonders if the new combos will stick.
  • Speaking of Backstrom, he's now only nine points out of the rookie lead in scoring.
  • Alex Ovechkin seemed to be off his game a bit, especially after his third period tripping call. He whiffed on an open net thereafter and didn't exactly shine in his brief tryout as a blueliner. He finished minus-three on the night and had nine shots either miss the net or get blocked. Maybe Andrei Markov and company are in his head. Or, perhaps, the Matt Pettinger as a top line winger experiment just isn't working - AO is minus-eight in his last four games (Backstrom is minus-six and Pettinger minus-five - it sure would be nice to get Chris Clark back in the lineup or, better yet, a legitimate first-line right wing).
  • Red, white and blue is still better than bleu, blanc et rouge.
  • Fact: Guillaume Latendresse is the only player in NHL history to wear the number 84. For another bizarre Latendresse fact, check this out.
  • A lot of bad news for scoreboard watchers, as the four teams directly ahead of the Caps in the Eastern Conference who played last night - Tampa, Atlanta, Florida and Pittsburgh - all won and the Bruins picked up a loser point.
So it's off to Long Island to try to snag a win and, with it, a merrier Christmas.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Let's give credit where credit's due, and it's due Sidney Crosby on the occasion of his first career Gordie Howe Hat Trick (and he handled himself a hell of a lot better when the rough stuff started than the Great One did).... Sure, you can play in the World Junior Championships at age 16 (and spell your name with almost as many umlauts as Mötley Crüe and Löwenbräu combined), Magnus Svensson-Pääjärvi, but Viktor Alexandrov would like to know where you've been the past two years.... I was catching up on my Mirtle and really digging this post when I recalled having seen this article in The Windsor Star - dated a day later - that had a handful of noteworthy similarities to Mirtle's post. Was it coincidence? Inspiration? Did Tom Layberger move to Canada and change his name to try to escape his shame?... Finally, on this date in 1929, the "NHL implemented the new 'offside' rule for the first time in league play. Forward passing would now be permitted inside all three zones, but not across the blue lines." At the time, Chris Chelios thought this would be a great way to increase offense, and, as it turns out, he was right.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Marian Gaborik (5G, but not the game-winner, A, +2)
  • Ross: Marian Gaborik (6 points)
  • Norris: Ed Jovanovski (2A, +1, 6 SOG)
  • Vezina: Karri Ramo (W, 30 save on 31 shots against)
  • Richard: Marian Gaborik (5G)
  • Calder: Karri Ramo (W, 30 save on 31 shots against in first NHL start)
  • Aiken: Henrik Lundqvist (L, 6 goals allowed on 18 shots against in 52:04 of work)



1) Guys with visors who fight should be assessed an additional 2 minutes! The other guy probbaly got cut on the shield not from one of Sid's knuckles

Snktimoniuz said...

Love the Public Enemy reference. I just can't picture Laughlin wearing a big clock necklace a la Flavor-Flav.

Hooks Orpik said...

faux: once again you're proven a phony; andy ference wears a visor too and he was the fight's instigator (as evidenced by the roughing penalty he picked up for his pre-fight action).

Chris said...

Was at the game last night, lower bowl compliments of the Caps hooking me up with a free upgrade. Awful D on the Habs first goal. I thought Laing had a rough night, too.

One thing you really get sitting downstairs is just how big these guys are, and how freakin' fast everything is. Even small changes of direction seem like world-class athletic feats.

Tyler said...

Fauxes got this one right. Sid's a whiny diver chickensh*t. Lose the visor, you little Rudolphian punk.


1) Hooks: Not sure how/why we are a 'phony' for calling out your teams player. Pehaps both had visors BUT only one was fighting/throwing punches with it on. We stick with our position that a player who fights with one should be assessed an additional minor.
2) BTW, FAUXRUMORS are NOT fans of either the Pens/Caps/Bruins. We merely call-em as we see-em.


1) BTW, a disappointment to see the Chara-Laroque fight didn't materialize into anything more than a short sparring/wrestling match. That had potential to be a real classic heavy weight battle, unlike the girlie fight alluded to earlier
2) Give Georges points for even taking on Big Z after seeing what Chara did to Chicago tough guy Koci earlier this season!

Ogre said...

Faux, technically it is a penalty, or it used to be, and I remember distinctively Halpern would rip his helmet off just before fights so he wouldn't get it called on him.

Also, all Laraque does is wrestling matches, he tries to tackle you and then punch you. He's not a fighter, he's a WWE star in training.

Hooks Orpik said...

faux: Call 'em how you see 'em, I agree. But if you didn't see that when the fight started both particpants had helmets (with visors) on and willingly got into a bout, don't call it at all.

Ference didn't take his helmet off like Halpern (and others) do, it came off during the fight. Things escalated quickly and neither he nor Crosby had time to take such a step.

Your point isn't a bad one, but the example used shows that you didn't really see (or understand) what went down.

Tyler said...

Hooks, love ya, but the rule is simple: Fighting with a visor on, aside from being chickensh*t, is a two-minute penalty.

NS said...

this must have been one of Pettinger's worst games. He lost the puck nearly everytime he was in the offensive zone. Never looked comfortable.

interesting that Boudreau (according to Laughlin) said Fleishmann was his Ovechkin in the AHL. If Boudreau can't unleash this guy, not sure who can. Also, is it worth keeping Semin on the RW??

So, anything new on FEHR? we need quality RW's badly.

I want Komiserek on the Caps. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Did you see this... Where do people come up with this stuff.

Ovechkin to the Kings is another rumour that I mentioned on the air yesterday. It is an E1, but it is the first legit AO rumour that I have heard. There are also rumours of a possible extension for AO as early as mid January, so we will see. The deal that I heard would start with Cammalerri and Bernier (the goalie) plus...

DMG said...

Fighting with a visor on it not a penalty. Instigating a fight with a visor leads to an additional 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike, but just fighting with a visor is only 5.

And I personally have no problem with that rule being the way it is. I'm not going to ask guys to risk their eyes and hence their livelihood and quality of life just to prove they're slightly more manly should they get into a fight.

You'd have to be nuts to play in the NHL these days without a visor and knowing that I wouldn't be offeneded if I got into a fight with a guy with a visor either.

JP said...

Per the NHL's '07-'08 Rulebook (warning: pdf), Rule 75.2:

A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct shall be
assessed under this rule for the following infractions:
(iv) When a player, including a goalkeeper, is penalized for being the instigator of an altercation and who is wearing a face shield.

This is why Chris Clark got the extra two for his fight against Philly on Nov. 23, and presumably why Halpy would take his helmet off (just in case he got an instigator).

Clearly, neither Crosby nor Ference was going to get an instigator last night and, hence, no minor for fighting with a visor.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

JP said...

Or what DMG said.

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the game, speaking as a Habs fan. My son, however, is a Caps fan. Is there a clause where I can reclaim a percentage of his ticket price? Also, please hurry up and sign Ovechkin. Saw a guy in a Leafs Ovechkin 08 shirt at the game.

Anonymous said...

anon--That must be the same asshole that owns a Lindros Nordiques jersey

But don't worry, both are about as likely to happen in the near future ;)