As we were discussing on Friday (while everyone else was busy handing out post-season hardware), the Caps' lack of secondary scoring has become quite worrisome. After last night's whitewash at the hands of Atlanta, the Caps have now been shutout in two of their last three games, don't have a goal from anyone other than Alex Ovechkin or Viktor Kozlov in three games, don't have an even strength goal from someone other than those two in 250:37 of game time (and just one in 350:51), and the power play is now 1-for-13 in the last five games. Are we now beyond "worrisome" and at "critical"?
Some thoughts on last night's game:
- One could pour 4,000 Slurpees across an elementary school blacktop and it would probably provide as good a playing surface as the one at Verizon Center last night thanks to an afternoon Hoyas game (as if you needed another reason to hate Georgetown basketball - hey, I'm a Syracuse alum). Olie Kolzig called the ice "garbage," but noted that the Thrashers "were playing on the same ice so we can't make any excuses there." True enough, but when one team is trying to play an up-tempo skilled game and the other is trying to play a deliberate, plodding style that would make Jacques Lemaire upchuck, it's fair to note.
- If there's a player in the world playing in any league at any level who has committed more penalties while his team is on the power play this season than Alex Semin has, I'd be shocked.
- Speaking of Semin, his diving penalty was Grade A, um, equine feces.
- Ovechkin had seven shots on goal, six attempted/blocked shots and four misses. As to that last grouping, I had already started cheering aloud when Ovie's shot sailed high and wide of a gaping net in the first. While it was far from Tikkanen-esque, AO hits that 99 times out of 100.
- Kari Lehtonen was awesome. Kolzig was very good. Nicklas Backstrom's backcheck on Todd White was somewhere at the other end of the spectrum.
- Atlanta outhit the Caps 30-23. That's absolutely inexcusable, considering that the Thrash had played 65+ minutes of hockey the night before and the Caps were fresh.
Elsewhere Beyond the Rinks:
This has nothing to do with hockey, but everything to do with funny (h/t Dunzy).
- Hart: Mike Knuble (3G, including the game-winner, +2, 3 SOG, 2 TkA)
- Ross: Mike Knuble, Evgeni Malkin (3 points each)
- Norris: Jay Bouwmeester (G, A, 6 BkS)
- Vezina: Kari Lehtonen (36-save shutout win)
- Richard: Mike Knuble (3G)
- Calder: T.J. Hensick (2G, +2, 3 SOG, 80% faceoffs won)
- Aiken: Jason LaBarbera (L, 5 goals allowed on 24 shots against in 39:09 of work)