Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday Roundup/Caps 2, Avs 1

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Super Stats - WashingtonCaps.com Recap]

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.
So now it's a few more days off for the Caps to heal up a bit more before facing Philly in a Sunday matinee that has all the makings of a playoff-like atmosphere. They'll need to adjust the sites on their sticks if they're going to have any luck against the Flyers, but then again luck is the due reward of the skillful - and these Caps are showing themselves to be just that.

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).

Daily Awards
  • 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)

39 comments:

JP said...

Olie, of course, was 18 for 19, not 18 for 20. My bad.

Tyler said...

"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."

Yes. What WAS that? I mean, very un-26-like. Did he blow out a tire? Did he not realize that there were two Avs there?

Finger rubbed 10 into the boards in front of the Caps' bench, then gave him the business with his knee for good measure.

Rage said...

Plusses:
+ Brooksy is playing really well this season...sorta like Pettinger the past two seasons....
+ Laing represents so much that is good about hockey. Locker and Joe B were giving him all sorts of credit for his double blocked shot.
+ Speaking of which, how many blocked shots did we have tonight? Way to earn the two points, fellas.
+ Olie looked great. That save he had with his left toe at the end to block the wide open net was vintage.
+ Steckel always seems to be feeding garbage goals to the net. I love it.

Minuses:
Why nitpick? Great night for the fellas.
- Wait, minus goes to the head ref who inexplicably missed the high stick to Laing's (resultantly bloody) eye. How did he miss that?

JP said...

I didn't see a replay on that, but thought it was Laich's stick.

The more eggregious missed call was on Gordon's partial breakaway - yes, he got a shot off, but he still was tripped immediately thereafter.

Rage said...

Also, regarding Toscala as Aiken, that's a tough designation. His numbers definitely support the award, but the Leaf's defense did him no favors. They look worse than our defense did at it's worst.

And the NHL on the Fly commentator proved his point when he said, and you'll laugh at this JP, "The Leafs really miss Brian McCabe right now."

Eklund said...

Sorry, JP, that was me sitting behind you. I have to talk to my sources. E1

JP said...

I believe it. The Caps miss Poti, don't they?

And the award really is for the guy who's got the ugliest stat-line. After all, I wasn't there to see John Aiken's one NHL game either - just the stat line (and the great story behind it).

NS said...

JP - agree about the Brash thing at the end, but man, he played brilliant the rest of the game. i hope they resign him for another year.

did Eminger get his point across? He looked like Erskine's best bashing buddy out there. I actually liked the pairing. Still don't think Shcultz should continue to start unless he improves his skating and hitting. use that ice time for someone who has more upside (Eminger). Either way, Alzner will bench his ass next year (hopefully).

the thing that i love about Green's rushes is that it looks so freakin EFFORTLESS for him. awesome.

i think the team's confidence has bolstered Olie and his play. he elieves again, me thinks, as do the rest of us.

the first shift for 28-92-43 was a beautiful thing to watch. they didn't have that domination the rest of the game, but that first shift was sick. Semin needs to stop these no look soft passes to no one...especially on the PP.

Rage said...

If Laing was hurt from Laich's stick, I'll take it back. But I thought it was the Leafs player who got his stick up and drew blood.

The Deuce said...

Nope, the replay clearly showed it was the Avalanche player's stick that hit Laing up high. I think it wasn't called because the ref was in the middle of stepping around the players to keep from getting flattened. It's tough for them to see what's going on when they're doing that. Still, on the replay, it appeared he had a good view of it when it happened. He just missed it.

JP said...

Wait - am I the only one that just found out that Brashear - not Laich - was credited with the first Caps goal?

Anonymous said...

"I didn't want to embarrass you in front of your man-date, . . ."

Good heavens I always correct these kinds of people, albeit discreetly. I feel it's my duty. Yours too, my friend! Anyway, thanks for the chuckle.

How'd you find yourself in the 200 section anyway?

JP said...

KB and I (and a pair of other fine gents) actually have a pair of season tickets in Sec. 111.

Tyler said...

In Tarik's original game story he had the first goal wrong in one reference too.

The Laing double-blocked-shot thing was extra-excellent because those four penalty killers got stuck in the D-zone for a 100-second shift. And Laing blocked those two shots at the 95th and the 100th second. Just amazing. My seatmate and I jumped up and down in Sec. 430, whooping our heads off. The rest of our section was oddly quiet about it. It was an AMAZING shift. The Avs controlled but never really had great chances during that PP.

Eminger earned another game or three last night. Not a surprise, I'm afraid.

Brash will be back next year. Guaranteed.

HotDog88GT said...

Alex took a slash on the right wrist a few minutes into the third. Would like to know how that's doing.

I was an Avalanche stick that caught Laing's eye. Ref could easily have thought it was Laich's in real time.

And Bradley fell into the boards when his target decided to duck instead of leaning into the check. Is that unsportsmanlike conduct by the Colorado player or self-preservation?

Bryan said...

Hell of a game last night.. Also, was it me, or were the Caps stepping up a lot more in the neutral zone, preventing any sort of rush by breaking up the mid-ice passes.

cd said...

//KB and I (and a pair of other fine gents)//

Wow, JP, i didn't know you cared.

As for Saturday's game, am i the only freebie junkie 'round these parts?

It's FREE FREAKIN' SCARF DAY, people. Just make sure you don't get there before i do, because they only have 5,000 of those mickey flicks to give away and i needs mine.

JP said...

Yeah, make sure you're there nice and early on Saturday, Chris...

on ice said...

We are doing so well with all the injured guys out - should I be concerned at all about when these guys come back? Will it upset the current chemistry which seems to be so great? Discuss.

Question: going to the STH thingy tonite. do they limit the number of items you can have a player sign at one time? thanks

NS said...

on a random note:

didn't realize how crazy this summer is going to be with the Caps contracts. Check out all the free agents up for signing

http://nhlnumbers.com/overview.php?team=WAS

Victor said...

Jeebers, you had one of *them* behind you? I have to correct 'em all the time.

I have no problem embarrasing guys on dates, especially the loud-talkers who think they know everything when they know nothing.

DMG said...

JP, you just cursed yourself. It seems like every time I go to a game I leave thinking "the people behind had to be the most idiotic, obnoxious people on the planet", yet the next game people are even worse.

This of course may be due in part to the fact that I live in Atlanta and most of the people who go to hokey games are obnoxious and ignorant by definition.

bil said...

Speaking of Tarik's original game story--why was Brash described as a defenseman? There's no way Tarik wrote that, right? Some copy editor slipped that in, I guess, huh?

And, re the man sitting behind you: There's no way Green is winning Rookie of the Year when Ovie is on the team. I mean, come on--Alex is a mortal lock for rookie of the year. Book it. Seriously. No, guys--seriously.

Anonymous said...

Hypothetically speaking, if BB leads the Capitals to a division title, en route to a playoff birth after the way the season started, could he or would he even be considered for the Jack Adams award and if he is considered do you think he has a chance at winning the award -- that is all if we win the division and make playoffs.

Opinion?

Kitty said...

". . . the tiny visitors dressing room" with "the dirty gray carpet". Gee whiz! Such sore losers! Boo hoo: http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche
/ci_7927657

Har dee har.

Jan said...

"KB and I (and a pair of other fine gents) actually have a pair of season tickets in Sec. 111."

Uh oh. Within earshot of big-mouth me at the top of 112? I gotta behave, eh?

cd said...

Psst. JP.

Ixnay on the fact that the game acutally is on Unday say.

i REALLY want a scarf.

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Looks like the Canucks scoring woes may soon be over. They picked up Kris beech today off waivers!
2) Gabby most certainly should be an Adams finalist IF the caps were to win the SE
3) Noisy/stupid fans are everywhere, though have to say there were fewer sitting near by in sec 118 last night than our usual locale of 430 where they seem to grow like a fungus with each passing game.

Hooks Orpik said...

http://www.rds.ca/hockey/chroniques/243499.html

I think RDS is reporting Ovechkin signed an extention, 6 years $54

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) We don't speak French, but in any language it would be a VERY good deal money wise for the Caps. AO could have probably held out for 10+ this summer.
2) So much for the drivel that he wanted to get away from DC. Hopefully those faux rumours will now dry up

JP said...

Thanks, Hooks.

It is legit - and good - news.

Rage said...

LOLL Lloll faux made me laugh.

Victor said...

Maybe not, folks. Eric McErlain, as seen in the comments on OFB, quotes a Caps manager saying it's not so:
http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2008/01/10/the-ovechkin-price-6-years-54-million/

Sorry to be the buzzkill. Really, I am.

JP said...

But the denial isn't much - it's just the team trying to put the horse back in the barn (or whatever the metaphor is). They have a "Meet the Team" event tonight that I'm sure they wanted to be the unveiling for this news, but it leaked. There's no chance this deal is not done, imo.

Victor said...

We'll find out, one way or the other, soon enough. I found Eric's bit about two minutes after I scared the hell out of everyone in the office when I yelled, BTW.

Joe said...

JP,
I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't notice until this morning that Brashear was credited with that first goal. I was reading the Post earlier and thought it was a typo.

Scott said...

This team isn't very good about keeping its secrets locked up...unless I guess you count upper and lower body injuries

JP said...

I thought the same thing - the Caps are now 0-for-2 on keeping secrets (the uniforms being the other), and yet we can't get a single answer for why Steve Eminger sits in the press box all year.

sonia said...

i just wanted to say that i was watching the rangers @ avs game the other day and one of the announcers said "finger bangs it against the glass", and that will be funny forever.