Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday Roundup/Thrash 3, Caps 2 (SO)

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Super Stats]

Isn't Kari Lehtonen about due for a groin pull?

With his shootout win last night, the Finnish netminder has now won his last two starts against the Caps in dominant fashion, with a GAA under one and a save percentage of .974 (to say nothing of that pass to spring Marian Hossa). Without question, he was the difference in a game that the Caps dominated for stretches at a time. Some thoughts on the game:
  • All eyes immediately turn to the Tom Poti injury which, if I'm not mistaken, was not mentioned by the boys in the booth.
  • That game was vintage Olie Kolzig, with a handful of great stops and brilliant positioning (forget about the sideshow junk that ended the game).
  • Mike Green played 33:07, had a beauty assist on the Alex Ovechkin goal, and was plus-two for the game. But man, did he miss a golden opportunity on an unreal Alex Semin cross-ice pass late.
  • How can you have a shootout in which neither Ovechkin nor Viktor Kozlov gets an attempt?
  • Speaking of questionable coaching in the shootout, as KB noted, it's a shame that Joe Benanati knew what Eric Perrin was going to do but no one on the Caps seemed to.
  • Faceoffs were an atrocious 35% successful. This team might need to go get a second-line center if they want to make the playoffs. An-toine Ver-mette (clap clap clap-clap-clap).
  • Nicklas Backstrom - at what point can we use the word "great"? Now? Cool. He's got great vision and is a great passer (and also was great at losing faceoffs last night - 24%? Ouch). Great player? I'll hold out a little longer, but not much.
  • At some point, the power play will stop trying to be so damn cute... you'd hope.
So a four-point game turned into a two-point game thanks to Red Jesus, and the boys will be back at it on Friday night in South Beach. With three goals in their last three intra-divisional games (all three losses), the Caps will need to start lighting the lamp more frequently, and soon.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Happy 33rd Birthday, Viktor Kozlov.... Caps love from The Maven.... Green love from up north.... Aside from the plagarism here, the underlying idea is pretty cool, and would be great for the NHL to try.... Allan Muir notes something about Jeff Halpern that Caps fans have known forever.... Finally, one year ago today we sent a Valentine to a very special someone, accepted one on AO's behalf and watched a little CourtTV.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Ryan Miller (35-save shutout win)
  • Ross: 12 players tied with 2 points each
  • Norris: Brent Seabrook (G, A, +2, 5 SOG, 3 hits)
  • Vezina: Ryan Miller (35-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Dustin Byfuglien (2G)
  • Calder: Nicklas Backstrom (2A, +1, 3 SOG)
  • Aiken: Pascal Leclaire (1 goal allowed on 3 shots against in just 4:50 of work)

25 comments:

Tyler said...

If Green plays 26 minutes instead of 33 (!), maybe he has enough left in his legs to convert that Semin pass.

I know, I know, they were playing with 5 D, but still....

Paul Nichols said...

Wow, Green played 33. Sheesh.

Glad you mentioned that Semin pass, JP - I love watching him do his magic with the puck. He gives up his share of take-aways, but holy hell, when he gets a little space, he's a wizard with that thing.

And Kolzig was great - Perrin would have beaten anyone on that shootout goal.

And how Ovechkin was so open on his goal amazes me. Almost like he was loitering over on the boards and Atlanta just forgot about him.

Lehtonen (sp) was spectacular in goal, also. Helluva game. Feel fortunate to get that one point.

Tyler said...

Lehtonen was nothing short of amazing. Caps could have won 6-2 they had so many chances in close. One of the best games by a G I've seen all year.

ted said...

Did anyone else notice the non-call on Lehtonen's assist which should have been high-sticking instead? They played the replay about five times and each time it looked as though one of the Caps (I couldn't tell who) took the end of his stick right in the mush on the follow through. I am surprised Joe and Craig didn't mention that considering the number of replays.

Oh well, no point crying over it now.

JP said...

Bonus thoughts!

* Didn't we see what Boyd Gordon could do against Lehtonen on a breakaway during regulation?

* Fehr got crushed by Exelby. Not embarrassing. Jurcina got decked by Perrin. Embarrassing.

* Speaking of Perrin, he's a whiny little rat of a man, isn't he?

* Paul looks a bit like Bill Clement.

* When the Caps win the Cup, Tyler's first comment will be "The rebound Olie gave up in double overtime nearly prevented Ovechkin from getting the chance to win the game with his fifth goal of the night later in quadruple overtime."

JP said...

Did anyone else notice the non-call on Lehtonen's assist which should have been high-sticking instead? They played the replay about five times and each time it looked as though one of the Caps (I couldn't tell who) took the end of his stick right in the mush on the follow through.

You know, I hadn't noticed it on any of the replays until the end-zone shot, but I definitely did notice it then. Since the player and the bench didn't complain, I guess it was no big deal, but I did see it and meant to comment on it. Good catch.

~Mark said...

I don't know what it is, but the Caps still did not look like they were on their A game last night. Are they actually holding back some as there is almost 2 months left in the pre-playoff grind? I just feel like the last to Atlanta games they haven't seemed all that inspired!

Aside from the game, I took a look at that Calgary Sun piece on Greenie. He started playing hockey because he was bored. As I recall, that was the catalyst for the now famous segway tour the Caps took in December. We've got to get this guy something to do.

maruk said...

Nope, it wasn't a penalty.

From the book Mick McGough has never read.....

60.1 High-sticking - A “high stick” is one which is carried above the height of the opponent’s shoulders. Players and goalkeepers must be in
control and responsible for their stick. However, a player or
goalkeeper is permitted accidental contact on an opponent if the act is committed as a normal windup or follow through of a shooting motion.
A wild swing at a bouncing puck would not be considered a normal
windup or follow through and any contact to an opponent above the
height of the shoulders shall be penalized accordingly.

hotdog88gt said...

Why has Laing been scratched the last few games?

Hot goalie for them. Only way to score on that guy is to get him moving, which happened only with Klee's shattered stick.

Lots of shots from the Caps that the goalies can see.

Skipped the SO on my DVR. Don't watch any of them, by any team. I'm afraid, however, that the SO will never leave the NHL now that it's in.

JP said...

@ Maruk: Indeed. I had a momentary brain fart on the rule, as I recalled only the Olie Kolzig double-minor incorrectly called on his normal follow through against Tampa in the playoffs.

As a pain in the ass, however, I'd argue that while a "goalkeeper is permitted accidental contact on an opponent if the act is committed as a normal windup or follow through of a shooting motion," it says nothing about letting slide contact made on the follow through of a passing motion.

maruk said...

From one pain in the ass to another, I appreciate your point. Noticed that myself.

TJ said...

Anyone disagree with Gordon goin in the SO? I would rather have Kozy in there, isnt that one of the reasons we got him?

JP said...

How can you have a shootout in which neither Ovechkin nor Viktor Kozlov gets an attempt?

Didn't we see what Boyd Gordon could do against Lehtonen on a breakaway during regulation?


I'm clearly with you, TJ.

CD said...

To digress to one of your many other bon mots, JP, i'm going to have to disagree w/ you on the Aiken today. LeClaire wasn't even supposed to play, as he was suffering from the flu. i believe that's why he was yanked back out as opposed to letting in one of three. That dubious distinction clearly should go to Fredrik Norrena.

JP said...

Fair enough. He was last night's Dante. But the Aiken is as much about the raw numbers as it is about actual play, and Leclaire ended up with a 12+ GAA and .667 SV%.

Paul Nichols said...

"* Paul looks a bit like Bill Clement."

It could be worse I guess. At least you didn't say I look like Brian Engblom....hehehe

NS said...
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NS said...

you're right aqout Perrin. Whiny little b!tch. Loved it when he got decked trying to prevent the icing....which was followed by waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

Lehtonen is phenomenal. bastard.

Joe said...

Once again the Caps get no love in the three stars. You mean to tell me that no Capital was among the three best players on the ice last night?

Shwedy said...

guys....check out this steeltown idiot... i already made a comment on how part of ovechkins celebration is a tribute to his dead brother....just thought I would use that to make this kid feel like crap.....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaIaybZyXFQ&eurl=http://deadspin.com/356404/the-only-dude-in-the-world-who-thinks-ovechkin-sucks

NS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NS said...

Shwedy - don't waste your time. People that idiotic are too stupid to care.

I actually don't mind the shit talking about Ovie. In fact, I get a good laugh out of it. Why? Because he was one of a handful of players in sports, not just hockey, that proves his worth and dominance in some facet of the game every night he plays.

Ogre said...

Olie wasn't given his free follow through when he high sticked Lecavalier or whoever in the playoffs a few years ago. If you watch that replay, Olie's following through, and Lecavalier literally SKATES INTO his stick, either not paying attention or doing it deliberately. That rule is complete bullshit, as are 90% of the "Judgement Call" rules.

Ogre said...

That's what I get for not reading all the comments before posting. JP and I seem to think on similar wavelengths today. Regardless, hockeytool08 or whatever is probably the same guy(or at least of a similar mindset) who got into a pissing match with myself and hazardous a few weeks back. Not really worth the argument.

Daniel said...

Maybe that call-up/send-down of Lepisto was GMGM testing out his time machine?

Let's hope the Caps don't need to call up anyone and Poti is back in short order.

-d