You could say that a team that fails to score when handed a nine-minute power play doesn't deserve to win that game. You could also say that a team that takes eight consecutive penalties doesn't deserve to win that game. And while both of the above assertions are true, they both also circle back to the one question in my mind last night - "Why was the oldest guy on the team just about the only one playing like he cared?"
Some thoughts on the game:
- The only reason the Caps were in that game was Jose Theodore (there's your silver lining), who now has given up only five even strength goals on the season after surrendering a power-play marker to the Flames.
- I've asked the question before, but when did it become acceptable (almost expected) to start a fight with a player who lays a clean hit on a teammate of the instigator-to-be? If more referees had the cajones to penalize these outbursts as Bill McCreary and Chris Lee did with Rene Bourque, maybe the stupidity would end (though if the offending player knows a parade of questionable equalizing calls will follow, I doubt it will have much impact).
- Nice hit by Tyler Sloan, by the way.
- Caps who had more shots attempted, blocked or missing the Calgary goal than shots on Miikka Kiprusoff included Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, Mike Green and Chris Clark.
- I fear that John Erskine (of The Flying Erskines) has gone from suck to blow.
- Michael Nylander's penalty to break up the Caps' monster power play was one part stupid, two parts lazy.
- Half of the 18 Caps skaters had at least one minor penalty. Not OK.
- Every time Todd Bertuzzi gets hit against the boards, an angel gets its wings.
- The Caps won only 43% of the game's faceoffs (Nicklas Backstrom and David Steckel were particularly bad, combining to go 2-for-10; Sergei Fedorov was the only Cap above 44%, winning 57% of the time), and won only 31% of their shorthanded draws.
- Shaone Morrisonn must... clear... that... puck on the 3-on-5.
- And Green must... get... that... puck... deep on the 4-on-5.
- The second period may have been the worst period of the year so far.
- I know you don't usually see nicknames for defensive pairings, but if you did, and if you put Erskine and Sloan out together, I'd vote for calling them "Sloan and Slower."
- Tomas Fleischmann had 2:55 of ice time killing penalties. Please, hockey gods, don't ever make me type that again (Fleischmann actually had a pretty good game, though, and tied with Nylander for the team's best Corsi Rating on the night).
- The Caps had only five shots in 11:05 of power play time. If that doesn't cry out "too cute," I don't know what does. Nevermind - yes I do.
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:
The Alex Ovetjkin blog has two videos from a team-building outing at Aberdeen Proving Ground that are well worth your time.... Power Rankings galore, with the Caps at 15th (down 8 spots) at TSN, 10th (down 1) at CBC, 10th at USAToday (who also has some Semin and Green love), 8th at The Sporting News, holding steady at 5th at The Hockey News and 7th at The Detroit News (h/t to GJM on all of those links).... Alex Semin is clutch (and Mike Green ain't too shabby either).... Dan Sernoffsky's "Bear Tracks" is always so chock full of awesome (as is Moose Tracks, for what it's worth).... They're not too upset about losing Matt Pettinger in Vancouver.... Finally, this is a hell of a way to spend a day at the rink.