Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Roundup/Bruins 2, Caps 0

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Super Stats]

And you thought non-stop coverage of the Iowa Caucuses was boring.

A few notes from an uninspired evening:
  • Jeff Schultz is listed at 6'6", 221 pounds. Chuck Kobasew is 6'0", 192 pounds. How in the hell does the former allow the latter to push him into Olie Kolzig on a 3-on-5 penalty kill when the referees would let the Caps blueliner do damn near anything to clear the front of the net? KB texted me before the game "I'm gonna go with Kobasew as the Bruin who most embarrasses Schultz tonight." Very prescient.
  • Every now and again we get a reminder that Mike Green is only 22-years-old, and last night was more or less a sixty-minute reminder. Green was totally out of position on the first Boston goal, took a careless double-minor that led to their second and could easily have gotten called for a dive on the Marc Savard hooking penalty. He did draw two penalties, but both were highly questionable calls. Was he feeling too much responsibility with Tom Poti out? Likely.
  • Olie Kolzig had his best game in weeks, perhaps months. The fact that it came in a loss makes it less likely that Bruce Boudreau will start Freddy Cassivi in Montreal on Saturday, but we shall see.
  • The officiating was, at best, inconsistent.
  • Despite getting stuffed on a partial breakaway in the first, Tomas Fleischmann played his best game in a while as well.
  • Please, Gabby - no more Donald Brashear on a scoring line or power play. Brooks Laich deserves that spot, if it comes to that.
  • Alex Ovechkin always has a tough time with Zdeno Chara, and last night was no exception (though he did ring two missiles off the iron).
  • The Caps are now 1-6 with Poti not in the lineup.
  • Milan Lucic is an animal. He absolutely crushed Brian Pothier late in the second, and that's the last we saw of Potsy for the night.
Now it's off to Montreal for another tough Eastern Conference match up. Getting Alex Semin, Poti and/or Pothier back would be nice - getting a better all-around effort will be necessary.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Thanks to Rink Reader Chris for pointing out the Mike Green love in Dave Hodge's latest offering.... On this date back in 1986 Mike Gartner registered his 10th career hat trick and Dave Christian had a pair of goals and three helpers in a 9-3 rout of the Devils. Four years later, Sergei Gonchar would tally the second ever hat trick by a Caps defenseman (Kevin Hatcher had the first) in a 6-1 win over the Habs.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Jarome Iginla (2G, including the OT game-winner, +3, 4 SOG, 4 hits)
  • Ross: Nine players tied with 3 points apiece
  • Norris: Brent Burns (3A, +3)
  • Vezina: Tim Thomas (31-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Evgeni Malkin (3G)
  • Calder: Martin Hanzal (G, A, +1, 2 hits, 2 SOG)
  • Aiken: Marty Turco (3 goals allowed on 4 shots against in just 13:14 of work)


NS said...

we simply got out muscled this whole game. Chara single handedly stifled multiple offensive chances. hate that guy.

wish Jurcina could place half as good as that him.

Joe said...

The Bruins use PJ Axelsson and Chara to cover Ovechkin whenever they play the Caps. With that being said, it shows why Semin and Cark are sorely missed when the opposition has the means to shutdown our #1 threat.

Rage said...

Plusses and Minuses from my NHL Center Ice online vantage point:
+ Olie played his best game in a long time
+ The NESN cats were hyping up Green, Ovy (obvs), Laing and our new unis (Weagle?)
+ Erskine ruled that fight

- Flash may have had his best game in a while, but the dude just doesn't seem able to finish around the net
- Agreed with JP, I don't need to see Brash on anything but hustle/energy/checking lines.
- More injuries

Is the Montreal game on Saturday really at 12:30?

JP said...

Agreed on all points.

And I didn't want to talk politics in the post, but if it interests you, feel free to in the comments. I will simply say this - if a guy who doesn't believe we come from monkeys is our next President (which I don't think will happen despite last night's Huckaboo win), I'll be applying for Canadian citizenship faster than you can say "intelligent design." Viva Evolution!

Hooks Orpik said...

While I wouldn't proclaim to understand all the statistics and probability behind it, here's an interesting statistical website I came across .

Also how about Jarrko Ruutu doing the Lord's work last night giving Tucker an ass-whoopin? Hopefully Sean Avery can be next on someone's list.

TJ said...

Can #55 please get a seat in the press box. Im not really sure what hes bringing to the team besides a big wingspan.

Hes overmatched physically, and its pretty sad. Hes got burned pretty bad the past 2 games.


1) Can be argued that evolution IS Intelligent design. ; )
2) That said, Huckleberry is a bit liberal for our taste, while the Dems all seem trying to out do each other sounding a bit left of Mr. Marx. (Groucho and Karl)

Tyler said...

Much is explained: Fauxes is/are Huckleberry Hound himself.

D said...

When I watched the game last night I noted to myself to mention two of the things you did - Flash had his best game in a while, not that it meant much; and if Brash continues to get 10-12 a night on a regular basis, we're in trouble. He's no Chris Clark - the Caps need to replace the Captain with someone else.


hockeypunk said...

Ugh, I just clicked the link to the piece on Mike Green and was greeted with Sissy Sidney Crosby's face. My day could have been a lot better without that. Enough of that homo!

Focality said...

Chara just swallows guys whole; many times I saw a Caps player cry out only to be swallowed by Chara along the boards. Only the player's stick remained.

Can Locker stop calling Schultz "The Sarge"? He acts more like a private.

Boston plays boring hockey. It was especially boring last night.

DMG said...

That's an interesting site Hooks, but I find it strange that one loss dropped the Capitals chances of making the playoffs 5%, although I guess I'm not really in a position to comment on the accuracy of the methodology.

As for Kobasew and Schultz - were they battling in front, per se? Because from what I remember (I may be wrong) they were skating together; Schultz was trying to cover him and that Schultz didn't have his feet planted (which is good, you cant do that much standing around on a 5-on-3). If that was the case it's unrealistic to think that a guy who's pushed, who isn't expecting it, won't move at all.

Personally I'd put Schult ahead of Jurcina and Erskine.

DMG said...

FWIW, I asked Tarik about the Schultz/Kobasew play in the weekly Caps chat:

Atlanta: Mr El-Bashir,

The Bruins' second goal last night (where Schultz and Kolzig were tangled up) has raised a little debate today. Do you think Schultz was "outmuscled" down low or do you think it was a case of Kobasew giving him a well-timed nudge while the two were skating together? Should it have been a penalty or crease violation on Kobasew?

Tarik El-Bashir: I think it was a well-time shove. But I also think it should have been an interference call. I mean, when a team is already down two players, the refs can't allow the opposing team to intentionally take out the goalie, too, right? Kobasew knew exactly what he was doing.

JP said...

Great stuff, DMG. I agree that it could have easily been a call on Kobasew, but I hate to bitch about officiating. I do, however, think that if Schultz was in better position, it's a moot point.

Anonymous said...

Reviewing the Shultz/Ollie mix up this is what I saw: Shultz looses his balance after the shove, and puts his hand on Ollie's shoulder to steady himself. Ollie may or may not have fallen by the impetus of Shultz's influence alone, BUT, and here it is open to interpretation, it appears he dives to draw an interference penalty. His reaction to Shultz's touch is way out of proportion to the force, and highly exaggerated. Looked at the TIVO about twenty times and that's what it looked like to me.

JP, Iowa had a STRONG fundamentalist turnout leading to Huckaboo's win. He is not polling nearly as high in other caucuses. But if he were to win and you moved to Canada would you then become one of those entitled Leaf fans?

JP said...

If I moved to Canada and had to adopt a new team, I'd become a Flames fan (assuming, of course, that Mike Keenan was fired before then, which he would be).

The Deuce said...

Pothier has a concussion. He got absolutely creamed along the boards and his head went straight into them. I do believe that's number 2 for him. I would have liked to have seen somebody stand up for him, but hey, hockey's a rough sport. As for the game, the Caps pissed away another 4-point swing game to a conference rival they will (hopefully) be battling with tooth and nail for that last playoff spot. If you're counting, that's 3 points pissed away in the last Pens game (should've won, lost in OT, giving the Pens 2 pts and losing 1 they should've had), 3 more against the Isles the last game, 4 to the Canadiens, and 4 to the Sabres, and that's just December. If they want to make the postseason, they've got to stop GIVING away points to mediocre teams in their conference. I'm just saying...

Hooks Orpik said...

DMG: Just from tracking that website the past couple days with the Pens and Caps, I've seemed to notice a win has been about +5% and a loss has meant about -5% (give or take depending on other results).

So I suppose every game means about 5% plus or minus at this point in the season.

I don't pretend to understand it completely either but I do think it's kinda cool to check in on what games they say mean what and to track teams in the East in general.

JP said...

That's good stuff Hooks - at the very least, it gives you an empirical look at whom to root for in a given game.

Anonymous said...

JP, you really do need to stick to hockey in your blogs. The political touches don't accomplish much.