Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Roundup/Caps 6, Ducks 4/Gamenight: Caps @ Kings

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Event Summary - WashingtonCaps.com Postgame - AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]

It's late and I'm tired (or it's early and I'm tired - take your pick), so here's your abbreviated recap, to be continued in the comments:
  • Alex Ovechkin is quite good (but that was one stupid interfernce penalty in the third).
  • So was Jose Theodore, for the most part, especially in the second period (11 shots faced, 11 shots stopped).
  • The power play was fantastic, too, with good traffic and bombs aplenty from the point.
  • I know that official scoring varies a bit from arena to arena, but this stat tells you much of what you need to know about the first two periods - the Caps had 28 shots on goal, three attempted/blocked shots and two missed shots (Anaheim was 16/4/10 over the same span). Basically, the Caps had their way with the Ducks in the O-zone when the game was still in doubt (and beyond - the Caps won nearly all the one-on-one battles, as exemplified by David Steckel's third period tally).
  • Speaking of which, apparently the Honda Center, at 5-2 Caps, showed a traffic report on the Jumbotron. Perhaps that's a normal SoCal thing. Perhaps it's because they knew the game was over.
  • And how on earth can Mike Green get killed by Chris Pronger for all to see with around 6:30 left in the first period and have it take Joe B. and Craig until the beginning of the third period to mention it to their viewers? Dude was only fifth in the League in total ice time per game - you'd think they'd have noticed his absence (maybe on one of the Caps power plays in the interim). Note: Tarik was on it quick and says it's his shoulder.
  • Nice Ryan Whitney impression by Steve Montador, spearing AO in the yambag. Considering what the stripes were calling up to that point, letting that one go was horrible... but not as bad as Montador ducking Donald Brashear (repeatedly) when it came time to answer for his stick work. He must have been waiting for his three-time dance partner Matt Bradley to challenge him.
  • Jeff Schultz was on the ice for three Ducks goals. Tyler Sloan had a pretty poor game himself, and Tom Poti had the team's worst Corsi Rating (and was on the ice for three Anaheim tallies). But kudos to John Erskine for a relatively (emphasis on relatively) good game - the rest of the D was pretty brutal, as detailed, though losing their minutes leader goes some of the way to excuse the effort.
  • Ryan Getzlaf... still better than Eric Fehr.
So the Caps get an enormous and convincing (third period notwithstanding) win to start a brutal road trip.

As for tonight's match up, I dunno... read Vogs and the AP preview and keep coming back during the day to check the What We're Reading sidebar for more pregame updates - I'm spent. But I will note this interesting scheduling quirk - in the next five days, the Caps will visit the only three teams against whom Ovechkin hasn't scored a goal. Don't think that he doesn't know that.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

The Alexes are The Hockey News' pick for the League's best pair of teammates.... Needless to say, this is sweet (and comes in a number of different sizes - very well done, bilspacecadet).... Jeff Schultz as a fantasy hockey option? Now I've seen it all.... Peerless gets a nice shout out in the New York Times - does that make him a sissy liberal?

32 comments:

DMG said...

I don't mean to start a thing about the merits of fighting versus not fighting but if you're not going to have the enforcer go after the guy who spears your best player between the legs after the play, why is he in the lineup and why is he making 1.2 million dollars this year?

MikeyMcgee said...

If only you were half the reporter the AP is. This gem courtesy of ya-hoo,

"Backstrom made it 3-0 at 7:13, carrying the puck into the right corner and avoiding a check by Steve Montador before setting up Backstrom in front for a short backhander."...by Backstrom, to Backstrom, with Backstrom getting the assist on the breakout pass started by ...Backstrom.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/recap?gid=2008111925

this space for rent said...

dmg: He did, I thought. Linesmen broke it up before anything actually happened. Also, they needed to avoid penalties at that point and without Green, they couldn't afford any more PIM's.

Also, "produce section". Great word choice.

I excuse the third period, for the most part. Those guys were exhausted out there. It was obvious - five D carrying the water without Green.

Backstrom was a serious force out there.

Here's seriously hoping that either Mo or Feds can play tomorrow night, and that Green is okay.

HotDog88GT said...

Green was in the wrong place and was leveled by one of the best. Hope he's not done for the road trip but I'll wager he's out with a dislocation.

Maybe we see Alzner now...

HotDog88GT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HotDog88GT said...

Anyone see the Wild PK percentage? Ought to be interesting to see the Caps go in there with a hot PP.

MacVechkin, fka JR said...

Sheet...Feds, Semin, Green...this is adding up.

I've heard a lot of people slurping Corey Perry but that sucker punch/stick/two-hander to the face was a total c**t move. Forget Brashear going out there to dance with moustache man, why wasn't he or someone of his ILK presenting Perry with two complimentary tickets to the ass kicking buffet?

Tyler said...

@DMG: I was at the game, and it was flat-out funny (and sad) to watch Brash go after Montador, and for Montador to skate 20 yards in the opposite direction just to avoid Brash. And I don't mean the kind of skating that would happen in the flow of the game, I mean flat-out avoidance. Example: On one shift the puck was deep in the ANA offensive zone and Brash and Montador were up at the blue line. Brash repeatedly challenged him... and Montador just skated backwards, fast. The Caps bench was chirping Montador pretty good for his 'chicken' act. Definitely. Not Manly.

@ HotDog re: Alzner: Do you read this blog? See JP's excellent salary cap post.

Hazardous said...

More like "here's to hoping feds can play tonight" cause oh god please not Morrisonn.

That game was going to be a romp, but damn if the officials didn't try and make it a game. To think we were called for even close to the same amount of penalties as those dirty ass Flye- Ducks were, holy shit. Amazing, were the refs watching the same game we were? Just a bad officiated game all around. Busy != good, for damn sure.

The Peerless said...

Hey, if the Times is good enough for Bill Kristol, it's good enough for me!

...did I really just say that?

JP said...

And if Bill Kristol is good enough for the Times...

this space for rent said...

Hazardous: Oh good, I wasn't the only one who noticed that. "The refs were calling everything" my shiny butt. How did they miss the spear in the yarbles?

I think Green is probably out for the road trip. Hopefully we'll know more today. Personally, even Mo being back is better than having five D carrying all the ice time for the game, and if that's all we can get, I'll take it. I'm seriously hoping both Fedorov and Morrisson can play out there.

HotDog88GT said...

@tyler

Did not read article on salary cap. Just wanted to read Alzner-shredding emails from Alzner advocates when he doesn't adjust to the NHL in his first period.

Rage said...

Can we get a little love for Kozlov? I thought he looked terrific out there. Really strong on the puck, great moves. The set up for Backstrom's goal was superb.

I'm with DMG regarding Brashear/fighting/etc. What's the point of having fighting in the game if no one really has to pay for spearing your best player. I get that it takes two to tango, but if this is at all common, I can't really buy the argument that "fighting serves to self-police the behavior of the players."

Though I guess the alternative to what Brash/Monty didn't do is a 9 minute penalty kill.

Rage said...

Also, I would have gone with Daniel Briere rather than Ryan Whitney.

Which begs the question, what is the obsession with Ovy's nuts?

Scott said...

Can somebody explain the charging call on Ovechkin? He was skating fast, but the guy had the puck and was not near the boards. Is a player supposed to avoid contact if skating fast?

b.orr4 said...

No Green for 2/3rds of the game, no Feds, no ShaMo, no Semin and they go out and shred one of the best teams in the west. Not bad. Not bad at all. And have we ever had a goalie who can give up 4-5 goals a game and have none of them his fault.

JP said...

@ b: Amazing, isn't it, that Jose has given up nine goals in his past two games and has looked very, very good in doing so?

b.orr4 said...

@jp: as opposed to a certain departed goalie who would give up 4 goals and you could say two of them had no business going in?

JP said...

@ b: Yeah, but he has a better save percentage to date, so he must be better (although, if I recall correctly, he doesn't believe save percentage matters and that only winning does, so I guess JT60 is the better goalie after all).

DMG said...

What's the point of having fighting in the game if no one really has to pay for spearing your best player. I get that it takes two to tango, but if this is at all common, I can't really buy the argument that "fighting serves to self-police the behavior of the players."

Though I guess the alternative to what Brash/Monty didn't do is a 9 minute penalty kill.


That's pretty much my viewpoint. If the team doesn't want to avoid the extended PK (I think it would have been "only" seven, as Brash doesn't wear a shield) but most likely they would have to kill a two minute one as Montador would try to defend himself. Now if the team doesn't want to have to kill that penalty, that's fine, but then shouldn't they have been dressing Fehr instead of Brashear all season?

Can somebody explain the charging call on Ovechkin? He was skating fast, but the guy had the puck and was not near the boards. Is a player supposed to avoid contact if skating fast?

The letter of the law is:

"A minor or major penalty shall be imposed on a player or
goalkeeper who skates or jumps into, or charges an opponent in any
manner.
Charging shall mean the actions of a player or goalkeeper who, as
a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any
manner. A “charge” may be the result of a check into the boards, into
the goal frame or in open ice."

I think the two rules of thumb are a player leaving his feet or taking more than three strides right before making contact with the opposition. Not sure which is was with Ovechkin (maybe both?)

~Mark said...

JP,

How can you not call out Nylander for his continued poor defensive work? He was coasting on the Getzlaf goal, and with a little hustle, could have been the difference.
Is this guy just playing like someone waiting to be traded?

JP said...

@ Mark - There are a lot of things you miss when you're recapping at 1:00 and have to wake up at 5:30.

Paul Nichols said...

He was coasting on the Getzlaf goal, and with a little hustle, could have been the difference.
-----------------------------
I noticed that too, and on the replay, it was apparent. He actually WAS coasting and then thought, "oh, hey maybe I should try..aw hell.."

MacVechkin, fka JR said...

After sleeping on this (yeah I just got up an hour ago), my hunch is that Green has a separated shoulder. I have had that kind of injury before, and hopefully it's only a mild/Grade 1. What really struck me is how Green downplayed it, like he was trying to convince himself he wasn't injured. I did the same, then woke up the following morning unable to move my arm above nipple level. This has 4-6 weeks written all over it.

Hope I'm wrong.

bil said...

JP--

thanks for the shout-out. I've updated the wallpaper in a centered version, due to popular demand.

jason said...

The officiating in that game was terrible, but I thought the charging for Ovie was justified. That was clearly Ovie seeing Green get leveled and lining someone up. I think the actions were charging in themselves, but the circumstances made the call especially likely.

What pissed me off was the bush-league stuff the Ducks were getting away with. 2 minutes for Perry punching Gordon in the face with 2 hands for absolutely no reason is a joke. That should have been a double-minor at least (blood everywhere!), but I think a major would have been the most appropriate call.

Montador should have gotten a major + match penalty for what he did, I think the refs just didn't see it. While I'm glad to take the win, some things are worth a 7 minute penalty kill. A guy intentionally spearing our best player in the "produce department" should qualify. Montador should be suspended.

And I agree with Joe B./Locker on being mystified as to what they were calling. I saw some of the weakest stick penalties ever in that game, then they miss obvious calls like Clark's trip of Pronger.

Backstrom was a load out there, he looks STRONG on the puck. Kozlov had a good game too. Hope Green is ok, he didn't look that hurt when he got up (much to my surprise).

Hazardous said...

@Rage: Hell yes. I've been a fan of Kozlov since he arrived. Puck control is definitely something our entire team has gotten better at, but damn if he isn't able to keep it away from their entire team all at once. The set up to backstrom where he dangled around 3 or 4 guys and made them all look silly was simply amazing.

@Scott: It wasn't charging. They called him for charging, but that wasn't charging. It was a BS called. The interference call was BS too. The ridiculous amount of non calls against Anaheim were BS as well. Overall, a REALLY poorly officiated game. Worse than usual.

Speaking of bad rules and enforcing of them, can we please, please, please bring back the damn crease rule? I'm so sick of seeing our goalies being run over.

@Jason: Ovie hit a guy near the puck the same way he would have if green hadn't been leveled. Do you watch him play at all? It was pretty obvious. Just because someone takes more than 3 strides then hits doesn't mean those strides were taken TO hit the guy. The puck came near him so he got him. That's how Ovechkin plays.
The bit about Gordon is spot on, however. A major for that, easily. It wasn't JUST the punch in the face but the subsequent smothering and shoving his face into the ice that should've deemed it a major, easily. Possibly even a major plus 2. That was some ugly garbage and to think it only got 2 minutes is just outright stupid.

jason said...

@Hazardous,
I'll take a look at the Ovie play again, maybe it was my own desire to retaliate for the Green hit that caused me to connect the two. I just seem to recall Green getting pasted and then Ovie taking several strides to hit someone as soon as it happened. I do watch Ovie play, and that felt like a charge to me. But, given how random the calls were in the game last night, I take your word for it.

The interference call on Ovie was just weird. It didn't seem like he did much interfering to me, but I (and probably many others) was wondering what the hell Ovie was doing on that sequence. I think, like the charge, that may have been a context call as well. Refs assume a lot when something doesn't look right (which is wrong and not their job).

bigonetimer said...

"Just because someone takes more than 3 strides then hits doesn't mean those strides were taken TO hit the guy."

Haz--love the passion you bring to this little corner of the internet, but that's charging. I thought the refs stunk last night too, but that was going to get called, no matter what. And if OV takes one for a teammate once in a while, that's fine with me.

Hazardous said...

If that's charging... I've got news for you. He does nothing but charge. Most players in the NHL charge.

That's not a charge. You're connecting Green getting hit with Ovie hammering a guy right after. He'd have hit the guy the second the puck came near him if green wasn't hit at all. Please learn to follow hockey, comments like this just piss me off.

Hazardous said...

So... after watching the travesty that was the Kings game, I have 1 question for my fellow caps fans:

How much money did they have riding on the Kings to win?

Just curious since that was the most blatant bullshit I'd ever seen. How is it that their big goober motherfucker can stand there, looking bewildered and run into (and then get decked by) Ovechkin and it's somehow a penalty on Ovechkin?

Fuck the NHL.