There's little doubt in my mind that last night's Avalanche posed the smallest offensive threat of any team the Caps have played so far this season. Sure, they scored a goal (and came close a few more times late), but if it wasn't for a strong game from Jose "Hair Club" Theodore in between the pipes (and the Caps pounding shot after shot into the middle of the logo on the front of his sweater), last night's game would not have been close. A few more thoughts on the game:
- Hats off to Olie Kolzig who made every save he needed to make, including a left leg kickout on a goal mouth scramble that instantly transported 16,000 fans back to 2000.
- Quintin Laing's effort on the third period penalty kill was incredibly inspiring (and the fans acknowledgement of it with a standing ovation speaks to their savvy as well).
- Shaone Morrisonn's diving poke check was a thing of beauty, but his decision to step up on Wojtek Wolski with just over three minutes left was a poor one that cost the Caps.
- I know the fourth line was the Caps' best all night, but I don't want to see Donald Brashear on the ice in the last five minutes of a tight game. Ever.
- I've long been a Brooks Laich fan (it's true), and this year he has proven to be worth that faith.
- I didn't see the hit that sent Matt Bradley flying, but he was in ill-humor thereafter and immediately sought out Jeff Finger as a dance partner.
- Mike Green's rush with four minutes left in the first period was a thing of beauty, and Alex Semin had as pretty an unsuccessful breakaway as you'll see.
- Steve Eminger had a bit of an attitude last night and led the team with four hits.
- The Caps dominated the dot, winning 58% of all draws on the night.
- Memo to the Guy Sitting Behind Me Last Night: I didn't want to embarrass you in front of your man-date, but it's "Boudreau" (Bourdeaux is a city in France known for its wines), Mike Green will not be winning the Rookie of the Year this year (call it a hunch), and just because you've got a mouth doesn't mean you have to run it for 60 minutes of action. Cheers.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
Eric Fehr played - and played well - for Hershey last night.... Bad off-ice news for Bears enforcer Louis Robitaille.... Michal Neuvirth has been traded again (thanks to Brian for sending this one in).
- Hart: Todd Bertuzzi (Game-winning G, 2A, +3)
- Ross: Mike Modano, Corey Perry, Todd Bertuzzi (3 points each)
- Norris: Sergei Zubov (A, +2, 2 blocked shots, 3 SOG)
- Vezina: Olie Kolzig (W, 18 saves on 19 shots against)
- Richard: 12 players tied with one goal apiece
- Calder: Nicklas Backstrom (61% faceoffs won)
- Aiken: Vesa Toskala (L, 5 goals allowed on 24 shots against)