Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Roundup/Bolts 5, Caps 2

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Super Stats]

I think my feelings on the season so far can best be summarized in this not-for-the-easily-offended and (depending upon where you work) not safe for work montage. Now that that's out of the way...

Half-way through last night's game in Tampa, the Caps and Bolts were tied at two. By the time the buzzer sounded to end the second period, the visitors were facing a two-goal deficit and, for all intents and purposes, the game was over.

Chalk it up to playing the second of back-to-back road games, a blown non-call by a linesman or whatever other reason you've got, but in the standings it's just another loss for a team that is now 3-11-1 since three straight wins to start the season. Some other thoughts on the conclusion of a fruitless trip to the Sunshine State:
  • Tampa's three even-strength goals had two noteworthy things in common: Michael Nylander and Viktor Kozlov were on the ice.
  • Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin were a dominant duo in the first period, but #8 was largely on his own thereafter.
  • Stop me if you've heard this one before, but both special teams stunk (0-for-4 on the power play, 2-for-4 on the penalty kill) and the team didn't get enough of the shots it attempted through to the opposing goalie (30 shots on goal, another 37 attempted, blocked or missed).
  • More on that last stat - the Caps got 45% of their attempted shots on goal, while the Bolts got 52% of their shot in on (or behind) Brent Johnson.
  • It's been a week since I asked whether it was possible that Milan Jurcina actually stinks. After his giveaway last night that led to the Jan Hlavac goal and subsequent benching, we may be getting closer to an answer to that question (and to another Steve Eminger sighting).
  • Someone give me a good reason why the Caps shouldn't claim Ilya Bryzgalov off waivers, and I'll give you a good reason they should (hint: his initials are B.J.).
  • Only three Caps have more goals on the season than Brooks Laich. Good on Brooksie. Bad on nearly all of his teammates.
  • Why did it take so long for a Cap to show up when Ryan Craig was getting up in AO's grill after a second period whistle? Oh yeah, because Jeff Schultz was the nearest guy in a white jersey.
  • Hey, Vinny - as long as you're up there, how 'bout picking some cherries for the rest of us?
  • Here's a brutal stat for you - the Caps are now 0-10 when allowing a power-play goal in a game.
Finally, I'll leave you with this quote from Glen Hanlon:
"You sound like a broken record, you work hard and you're not getting rewarded. Normally, if you would lose some games like this and you'd have a practice the next day, you'd have certain things to work on. But what do you work on (after this game)?"
Uh, Coach... if you have to ask...

Next up, the Panthers at the V.C. on Monday night. Things have to get better, right? Right?!

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:'s Allan Muir shares his thoughts on how "six staggering teams" can save their respective seasons. Judging from his omission of the Caps from that list, perhaps one can assume that he either doesn't consider them to be staggering or that he doesn't believe their season can be saved. Any bets on which it is?... Last night, NBC Nightly News ran a great feature on a great guy - former Cap Joe Juneau.... Wes Goldstein is ready to call Tom Poti a bust. Are you?... Jakub Klepis had a four-point night for Hershey last night.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Jussi Jokinen (4G, including the game-winner, +4, 5 SOG)
  • Ross: Jussi Jokinen, Sergei Zubov (4 points each)
  • Norris: Sergei Zubov (4A, +2)
  • Vezina: Johan Hedberg (31-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Jussi Jokinen (4G)
  • Calder: Clarke MacArthur (2G, +2, 2 SOG)
  • Aiken: Josh Harding (L, 3 goals allowed on 11 shots against in just 11:59 of work)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for that link to the greatest montage ever. watching that is like catharsis without having to actually say it that many times. None the less, I've probably said it that many times this season. oh well

DMG said...

Like a lot of us I think, I am losing faith in Jurcina on a daily basis.

I'm glad someone other than me think claiming Ilya B. would be a good idea. Johnson is alright, you could do worse for a backup. But Olie's going to need rest at his age and frankly, Bryzgalov is better.

I'm sure Johnson is a nice guy and all but it's not like they need him for his locker room presence.

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

i think its safe to say that our D corp is horrendous.

also, anyone else think Backstrom is a better with AO than Nylander on even strength?


1) We feel the pick up of Bryzgalov is a no-brainer(Which means there's no chance of it happening)
2) Even if he doesn't fit into the long term plans, in a month or two there WILL be several teams looking to bolster that position going into the post season, making him trade bait
3) We're puzzled that the Ducks couldn't find a taker for him. Perhaps its too early in the season and teams are trying to hold on to their cap space until later. By January though, we'd bet that will change
4) Of course it would also make sense to keep him and sign him. You'd think he's an upgrade over Johnson, and could be a bridge between Ollie and one of the prospects taking the mantle as starter.
5) BTW, does GMGM wait until the team loses a few more at home before firing Hanlon? They're 18 games in(almost 20%) and on a 59 point pace!

AO's Sunshine State Fan said...

As a Caps fan who was at the Tampa Bay game last night, I was thoroughly dissapointed in the over all lack of effort I saw. Just like the Panther game the night before, AO seems to be the only one who comes to play. How much longer will he put up with that crap? I'm over it! Hanlon and that lack-luster coaching staff needs to go. SOMEONE needs to breath some life into this team. The addition of Bryzgalov would be a nice start...and get Schultz & Poti OFF THE ICE! Hockey Gods...please help up!

Anonymous said...

Bryzgalov would be a start, and would think we get first crack with the lowest point total, right?

Despite the GA, our D is just as poor as last year. Its not the quantity of shots rendered, its the quality. Too many mistakes, Jurcina's last nite, Poti the night before

My biggest concern - the young developing players (Morrison, Jurcina, Fleischmann, Gordon) don't appear to be taking steps forward. Gordon is terrific D forward, but more O is needed.

Change is needed, coach GM and all. I've been a fan for 30 years and I can't remember when I've been more disinterested.

Observe Closely said...

The Hanlon quote does indeed say it all. He has not got a clue what to do next. Pathetic.

Apropos to that Allan Muir item, there is a piece on ESPN speculating on which coach is next to march to the guillotine. Hanlon isn't even mentioned. Pretty depressing. (

No one cares and why should they? That sound you hear is my heart breaking. Yet AGAIN.

NS said...

i will not buy another ticket, piece of merchandise, or support the team (financially) in any way until there is a change of guard w/ the staff.

DMG said...

I think the defense is better this year. Shots are down, goals are down, and Morrisson and Green are better than they were last year. Schultz is too, although in my opinion he is still not ready to take a regular shift in the NHL.

I can understand the comment about the lack of development amongst younger players but I don't think it's as bad some people think. As I mentioned I think Morrisson and Green are getting better; Green is definitely better, Schultz is better and I think Gordon is getting better as well. It's a slow process though.


1) The Bryzgalov rumors appear to now be moot as it looks like Phoenix has grabbed him. Again, can't understand why Anaheim was so quick to dump him for nothing now

Anonymous said...

I knew that picking up my Jurcina sweater at the start of the season was going to jinx him. I just didn't believe it.

Mark Bonatucci said...

RE "Wes Goldstein is ready to call Tom Poti a bust. Are you?.."

NO - NO the guy I question is Pothier - this year is much better than last but he still isn't the same guy who played for the Senators is he?

Re: ns said: "i think its safe to say that our D corp is horrendous.
- also, anyone else think Backstrom is a better with AO than Nylander on even strength?" Backstrom is better than Nylander with AO even strength but needs more seasoning before he goes onto Line 1 regularly. The D corps is light but I think Poti and Green are bright spots this year. Pothier is a question mark given his salary and I'd like to see Emiger and long for the day when Schulz realizes he's a pretty big guy and gets a "little" tougher.