Saturday, December 08, 2007

Saturday Roundup/Devils 3, Caps 2
Gamenight: Thrashers @ Caps

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

Bruce Boudreau's Caps may not be a hell of a lot better than Glen Hanlon's Caps were (the jury's still out on that), but one thing is clear - with the regime change came a different kind of accountability:
"That was a horrible giveaway for the first goal, and Olie should have had the save. He's too good a goalie to let those things go in."
Ah. Refreshing not to be tossed around in the spin cycle, isn't it?

Whether it was horrendous giveaways (Brian Pothier), awful penalties (Mike Green, Brooks Laich), a failure to make a save (Olie Kolzig) or poor timing (allowing Travis Zajac's goal just 41 seconds after Alex Semin had drawn the Caps to within one), it all adds up to the simple fact that the Caps were (are?) just flat out bad. Frankly, I'm at a loss to explain how they still had a shot at stealing a point in this one.

But they'll be back at it Saturday night against the Thrash as they open a four-game homestand. If there's even a slim chance for the season to be saved, it likely depends heavily on winning a few of these games and getting on a roll.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

In case you missed it, the Sabres dropped the first two games of their west coast swing (Anaheim and Los Angeles) by a combined total of 12-3, prompting BoC's inimitable Earl Sleek to create this "picture's worth a thousand words" cartoon.... Since it's Saturday, I'm on Ice Sheet duty over at Da House. Check out today's edition, hot off the press.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Henrik Zetterberg (3G, including the game-winner, +3, 4 SOG)
  • Ross: Henrik Zetterberg, Ryan Getzlaf, Pavel Datsyuk (3 points each)
  • Norris: Ruslan Salei (2A, +1, 2 SOG, 3 hits, 2 blocked shots)
  • Vezina: Evgeni Nabokov (27-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Henrik Zetterberg (3G)
  • Calder: Jonathan Toews (G, 3 SOG, 85% faceoffs won)
  • Aiken: Josh Harding (L, 5 goals allowed on 34 shots against)


Anonymous said...

"Bruce Boudreau's Caps may not be a hell of a lot better than Glen Hanlon's Caps were (the jury's still out on that), but one thing is clear - with the regime change came a different kind of accountability:"

Agreed and seconded. The "aw, shucks, we lost" is properly gone, and it fantastic to see a Caps coach calling a spade a spade. Frankly, I think the season is over, and I hope that Boudreau continues to display this kind of frankness.

This season, sadly, is turning into what last season should have been.

- Empty Maybe

DMG said...

I had a different reaction, JP. I thought that the Caps looked pretty decent outside of their momentary lapses; it's not like they were dominated all night. I also don't think the Capitals are a bad team, talent-wise, and I don't think it's fair to make that assessment given that they were without Clark, Nylander and Gordon last night.

I'm also not sure I'd say Kolzig should have made the save on Vishnevski, as it was a backhand from close range and those are hard to stop. I'm not saying it was a great shot but I'd say it more one that you'd like to see the goalie stop but one you can't necessarily say you can always expect him to stop.

b.orr4 said...

As miserable as they have been, the Caps are still, incredibly, only ten points out of a playoff spot with 108 points out there for the taking. I'm not going to go with your assessment that they're a bad team until I see them play at least five consecutive games with their entire complement of players. Injuries aren't an excuse but the reality is that without Nylander, Clark and Gordon, their chances of beating the hottest team in hockey were dramatically reduced.


1) Bad teams always seem to find excuses and some of the fans have picked up on those bad habits. Good to see that the coach is no longer making those excuses.
2) Fact is this team after 28 games (over 1/3 the way there) is on pace to get 58 points. Even a 'hot streak' would place them back to last year's level.
3) An injury here and there is NO excuse for underachieving in such a momentous fashion. Their 2 most important players(Kolzig/AO) have not missed a game. GMGM better prepare/update his resume!

DMG said...

The Capitals have not had just an injury here or there. Given that they've lost 11 games by one goal, have had trouble scoring, have seen Clark, Poti and now Nylander miss time from injuries (often overlapping) and that Semin has been active and playing at the level he can for one game (last night), I don't think it's unreasonable to think the Capitals would have 3-6 more wins if they'd been healthy. Add that to the bad bounces they've had (including Zajac's goal last night) and the team could easily have 5 more wins and be 14-12-2 or so.