Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday Roundup / 'Canes 5, Caps 0 / Gamenight: Caps @ Thrashers

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Super Stats - AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Pregame (coming soon)]

Well, that didn't go quite as we would have hoped did it? I'm a bit pressed for time, so let's make this quick:
  • Let's start with the good - Boyd Gordon won 14 of his 22 faceoffs (62%) and Dave Steckel won 10 of his 15 (67%). Gordo actually owned Rod Brind'Amour, winning 9 of the 13 draws (69%) between the two.
  • Tomas Fleischmann had a much guttier game than we're used to from him.
  • Alex Ovechkin continues to be everywhere and hit everything.
  • There were (admittedly small) stretches where the Caps dominated the game but couldn't convert chances. Cam Ward was fantastic.
  • Tonight's game against Atlanta isn't televised. Now that the good is out of the way...
  • It's amazing that all six defensemen could have off nights on the same night. Actually, I take that back - Jeff Schultz wasn't noticeably atrocious.
  • A team-leading 23:25 of ice time is way too much for Brian Pothier to handle. Didn't we learn this lesson last year?
  • If the Caps are stuck icing a team that's heavy on the supposed bangers, they should at least, you know, bang. When Nicklas Backstrom, Michael Nylander and Flash total as many credited hits as Brian Sutherby, Matt Bradley, Matt Pettinger and Donald Brashear combined, there's something very wrong happening (and yes, I know the relative ice times and general silliness of hits as a stat, but the point is that the Caps were badly out-hit and out-worked).
  • Speaking of stats that are laughable in their subjectiveness, the Caps were only dinged with four giveaways. I'll take the over.
  • I thought Ovechkin's boarding penalty was more dangerous than the hit for which they tossed Brash.
  • The penalty kill was both overworked and pourous. The obvious problem there is ineffectiveness - 4-for-7 is horrendous; the less obvious problem is how the lack of discipline limits and/or changes the ice time for the skill forwards (granted, the penalty killers did their best to mitigate that by allowing goals four and eighteen seconds into first period 'Canes power plays).
  • Olie Kolzig lost his focus and temper in the third, but he didn't have a terrible game. He had no chance on at least the first three goals (and on one shot that he somehow did make the save on), but his best work may have been a save on Brashear or on a 'Canes one-timer from the slot after a beautiful feed by Brian Pothier.
  • I've used "atrocious," "awful," and "horrendous" in these notes. Yeah, it was that bad.
  • Finally, was it just me or were the Carolina players smiling and laughing a bit too much for your liking too?
So the Caps will try again Tuesday night in Atlanta. Brent Johnson will, in all likelihood, be between the pipes, and he'll bring with him to Hotlanta a 7-2-1 record with a 2.36 GAA and .916 save percentage lifetime against the Thrash. Alex Ovechkin has also had tremendous success against Atlanta, with more goals (14) and points (29) than he has against any other opponent for his career. But it will likely take 19 guys playing hard for 60 minutes for the Caps to end their current four-game slide... and climb back out of the Southeast cellar.

Why The Thrashers Will Win:
"The defense has settled down after a brutal start and the offense and has really come to life. Since Waddell took over the team's power play is scoring on 20% of their opportunities. And because Ilya Kovalchuk will get his 3rd hat trick in three games." - Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?

"The Thrashers will win because not only do we have the best Russian player in the league in Ilya "hat trick" Kovalchuk, but also because rumors have it that Superman has started wearing Kovalchuk pajamas. Also, Kovalchuk has reportedly killed Chuck Norris." - Talking Thrash

"The Thrashers will beat the Capitals on Tuesday night because so far this season Ilya Kovalchuk is better than Alex Ovechkin. Ilya Kovalchuk is playing like a man possessed- he's shooting the lights out, playing well in his own end (he's even on a team that has been outscored 31-23 at even strength) and he's the heart and soul of this team. He's having the most fun of his career, and when Ilya has fun the other team usually loses." - Blueland Blog

"The Thrashers are playing with new life and a new belief that no deficit is too great to overcome. The Caps have already started their yearly fizzle as evident is that shut-out loss against the 'Canes on Monday. It might be close until the third, but the Thrash will pull it out in the end thanks to the continued playmaking of Ilya Kolvachuk. Alex Ovechkin and his Capital buddies should prepare themselves for a night of "Ko-vy, Ko-vy Ko-vy" chants because this Battle of the Russian Superstars won't be close." - Southeast Shootout

"Ok, so the reasons the Thrashers will beat the Capitals: Marian Hossa is due -- he can't suck forever. The defense is calming down. Ondrej Pavelec is the next Ken Dryden (or at least the next Phil Myre).

"But most of all, because Brian Pothier is a double agent, ready to emerge after four years of deep cover." - The Post-Pessimist Association
Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

McKeen's has released its ranking of the top 30 prospects for the 2008 Entry Draft.... Monday power rankings are out with the Caps at 28th, 28th and (gulp!) 30th.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Cory Stillman (3G, including the game-winner, A, +2)
  • Ross: Cory Stillman (4 points)
  • Norris: Sergei Zubov (3A, +3)
  • Vezina: Henrik Lundqvist (30-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Cory Stillman (3G)
  • Calder: Chris Conner (G, +1)
  • Aiken: Martin Brodeur (L, 5 goals allowed on 24 shots against in 43:28 of work)


Anonymous said...

I'd probably smile too were I playing like they are so far this season.

NS said...

to think i was about to buy season tickets for this season.

*throw up*

Anonymous said...

penguins win 5-0
cap lose 5-0

life sucks right about now.

malkin and crosby rack up points leaving me as a caps fan nothing left to cheer about when i see ovechkin get shutout 2 out of 3 games and to see him fall out of the top scorers in the league

even crosby has as many goals as ovechkin. now that is sad.


shoot me now.

Anonymous said...

Ns, I was in that boat as well. turns out it is looking like a wise decision.

Being a first year teacher, I really don't have the time/funds while I'm trying to save for a downpayment on a house.

DMG said...

For the good what about the fact that Nylander was finally playing with Ovechkin?

Anonymous said...

Wake me when Hanlon is fired. Unlike the NFL, NHL coaches really don't have a ton of impact during the game because the play is so free flowing. However, the one area where coaching, good or bad, is evident is special teams. Last night, the Caps were atrocious on both the PK and the PP and I lay that directly at Hanlon's feet. I like Glen, but it's becoming increasingly clear that he's good at motivating third and fourth liners. However, when it comes to the skill portion of the game, he appears to be lost. Ted, are you listening?

Anonymous said...


Be careful about the Hanlon comments, i.e., letting him go. There are those that want to give him until the end of Dec, or maybe April, or until he retires.

After that, a future Caps team will bring him back for a game--like the Isles did for Arbour--and he can screw things up with his "system" he doesn't talk about in public (psst, I think the other guys figured out your "system," Hanlon; they're hockey guys, too).

After last night's performance, I understand Hanlon and Co. will take tonight off in Atlanta, painting the town red. Maybe they'll go see the Cartoon Network HQ, or the hockey game scheduled for tonight.


1) So at what point do the Cap faithful start getting antsy/fed up? If they lose the next 2 on the road and fall behind the Lightning saturday will there possibly be a 'Fire Hanlon" chant eminating from the folks at Verizon?
2) From reading responses here and 'Dump & Chase' it sounds like Glen has worn out the good will he earned with the first post-lock out season
3) Two years later there are now expectations. Giving a good effort and/or staying close but losing should no longer be acceptable results for the franchise.

Joe said...

Looks like they have called up Chris Bourque from Hershey.

Anonymous said...

Can you elaborate on the Chris Bourque mention?

Joe said...

Here's the link:

Anonymous said...

Caps recall Bourque
Posted by Tim Leone/The Patriot-News November 06, 2007 09:40AM
Categories: Breaking News, Hershey Bears, Pro hockey

The Washington Capitals recalled Chris Bourque from the Hershey Bears and the left winger is scheduled to make his NHL debut tonight when Washington visits the Altanta Thrashers.

Bourque, son of Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, said his parents have made plans to fly from Boston to attend the game. It shapes up as a dramatic event.

"I found out [Monday] night around 11, 11:30," Bourque said. "I didn't fall asleep until about 4, I was so excited. It's a dream come true. I've been waiting for this since I was a little kid. I've always wanted to play in the NHL, and now I get a chance to play my first career game. It's really exciting."

Ben Clymer (groin) and Josef Boumedienne (hip) didn't make the trip when the Bears bused to Norfolk Tuesday morning. Jay Beagle, who suffered a minor eye injury Monday, did make the trip.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Joe. Bourque makes his NHL debut tonight and the game isn't televised. Somehow we've really pissed off the hockeygods.

Whiter Mage said...

Won't bring this up again. 3-9 with the WTOTWW feature.

Also - wish I could get the game tonight. Even a losing Capitals team is more fun to watch than an NY NY show down.

Anonymous said...

what's the WTOTWW feature?

DMG said...

Anon, that would be Why The Other Team Will Win

Anonymous said...

Sure, go ahead, ogre, blame the innocent victim. Perhaps it's time to add parentheses to the feature? W(OBT)TOTWW: Why (Other Bloggers Think) The Other Team Will Win.

Anonymous said...

hanlon for coach of the year?!?! atleast espn thinks so... http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/trophies

look at jack adams... hanlon is listeded at #2 favorite. I think its safe to say espn has the worst hockey coverage

The Falconer said...

It is a shame there was no TV as the game featured a lot of scoring chances for both clubs. Chris Bourque didn't seem to get a ton of ice time but he had one great chance. I ran into his father in the elevator--made my day that's for sure.