Thursday, September 20, 2007

Senators 5, Capitals 4

[Scoresheet - Super Stats - AP Recap]

First their dollar catches up to ours, then their capital beats ours on the ice.

There was some good and some bad coming from Thursday night's affair between the Caps and Sens, so let's dive right in:
  • First things first - the penalty kill needs a lot of work.
  • Michael Nylander and Nicklas Backstrom gave a glimpse of the awesome offensive-zone puck control of which they're capable. Throw a finisher (read: Alex Semin) on with those two and watch the goals come.
  • Mike Green should not have stepped up at his on Antoine Vermette at his (Green's) own blueline - Vermette got the puck to Nick Foligno (who doesn't wear a goofy helmet like his old man) for a breakaway that he buried on a niftily-roofed backhander. But it was a mixed bag from Green tonight, with the young blueliner adding a couple of power play helpers.
  • As the French might say, Jakub Klepis est histoire. He played on a line with the Swedes, took five shots on goal, had three hits... and still really did nothing.
  • Tom Poti and Nylander are so much better in their roles than the players they're succeeding it's laughable.
  • Speaking of Brian Pothier, I didn't notice him all that often tonight. Maybe that's a good thing.
  • The Caps were slaughtered in the faceoff circle (only 41% won), but their success rate was still better than that of the Rogers Sportsnet announcers' in pronuncing the Capitals' names.
  • Olie Kolzig looked sharp at times, but needs to do a better job containing rebounds (either that or the defensemen in front of him need to clear every offensive player within a 15-foot radius of the crease - which do you think is more likely?).
  • Tomas Fleischmann may have earned himself a contract.
  • I don't know if it's the travel, the time of year, conditioning or what, but the Caps seemed to be a flat for most of the third.
  • If you're not watching these games online, you need to be.
  • With Donald Brashear (and Ben Clymer) out of the lineup, Brian McGrattan took a few liberties (and while we're on the topic of fighting, Brian Sutherby could have done some serious damage to Larry Nycholat at the end of their kerfuffle, had he wanted to).
  • I think Jeff Schultz starts the season in Hershey.
  • Boyd Gordon was minus-three. Ouch.
  • The Caps road uniforms are definitely sweet.


Anonymous said...

was impressed with backstrom for the most part, flash too, 4 goals in a row sucks, that 5-3 was obviously what killed us, our PP still sucks, Poti looked good, the rogers people are horrible, really glad Hanlon didnt put in Neuv and gave us a good chance,

CapsChick said...

I understand not being able to pronounce Jurcina, but...didn't Pothier play in Ottawa? Strange.

I agree with almost everything you said, but I'm frankly a little tired of Flash even with a somewhat decent showing he put in tonight. He's too inconsistent and I don't see him on that top line, so where do you put him? I just hope he earned a contract with another team.

Oh, and Nycholat? Fighting? Priceless. I almost fell off my seat laughing when I saw him try that. Sutsy was holding back for sure.

Anonymous said...

1. Kozlov did squat for Ovechkin tonight. From what I saw tonight, Kozlov belongs on the wing.

2. Klepis, Nylander, and Backstrom were great at holding onto the puck .. but aren't scoring lines supposed to score?

3. Backstrom is ready.

JP said...

Here's a significant concern I have - with Clark on the 3rd line, is there a single forward among the top six who you'd consider to be even a marginally-responsible player defensively? Maybe Nylander?

Giving it all a bit more thought, I think Clark heads back to the first line, which frees up the third-line RW spot for Laich.

Whiter Mage said...

Honestly, if anyone takes it, I see a trade coming for a RW/C or a D man. Maybe a 3 for 2 kinda deal. However, wow, those names were terribly mispronounced. I heard Kolzig pronounced wrong. Then again, they couldn't agree on how to pronounce "Ottawa" (Oh-ta-wah? ooh-tah-wa? Ah-to-Wah?).

Anonymous said...

Their color guy, Tom Higgins, was also calling Backstrom, "Backman" for the first two periods. And Higgins and the play-by-play guy kept calling FleIschmann, "Fleshmen." It drove us all nuts. Along with that 3d period.

JP said...

Don't forget Brian Poth-ear, Brooks Lake and Tom Potty. It was a show.

NS said...

on a not so important note...

WOW the Sens jerseys look bad.

Observe Closely said...

JP, dear, please tell me what the first two lines looked like. Also, did Hanlon keep them the same all night?
1 - Ovie/Kozlov/Clark?
2 - Semin/Nylander/Backstrom?


JP said...

@ Jan -

Ovechkin - Kozlov - Fleischmann
Klepis - Nylander - Backstrom
Pettinger - Gordon - Clark
Laich - Sutherby - Bradley

Those lines stayed pretty constant throughout the night.

Semin didn't make the trip.

Anonymous said...

>>>"Giving it all a bit more thought, I think Clark heads back to the first line, which frees up the third-line RW spot for Laich."<<<"

That's my thought, too. Klepis and Fleichmann are getting extended tryouts on the top lines while Clark has fun Pettinger and Gordon (with whom he'll probably play once a RW from the system steps up). Right now, I think Clymer and Laich are fighting over that position.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing from last nights game from the Rodgers sportsnet broadcast. The broadcaster were calling Flash Fleshman. It was getting x rated,

Observe Closely said...

Thanks, JP. I agree about Clark going back up to RW with Koz and Ovie. Good idea. That becomes quite a menacing line. (If Kozlov can deliver.) The next up line of Semin+Nylander+Backstrom is equally scary but in a figure-skating pirouette dangle-dangle kind of way. I suppose Nylander is the defensively-minded one there. (Hmmm. That is a bit worrisome. You’re right. Even more so if the opposition puts it’s best defensive line vs. the Ovie line and an offensively gifted one against the second line.)

Next two I’d like Petty+Sutherby+Bradley or Brashear+Gordon+Clymer. You could make one and a half excellent smash ‘em up lines out of the raw material there. And get some goals now and then. At least from Petty.

My spare part would be Fleischmann. I’d send Laich and Klepis packing. I never saw much promise in Laich. Unless he has transformed himself over the summer, I say adios Brooksie.