Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Roundup/Gameday Gamenight Gamelateafternoonearlyevening: Caps @ 'Canes

[AP Preview - Preview]

In the wake of Wednesday night's kick-in-the-yambag loss to the Isles, Brooks Laich noted that this Caps team is lacking a killer instinct - they're not putting teams away when given the opportunity to do so.

Laich is right, of course, but the result on most nights (Wednesday being an obvious exception) hasn't been disastrous - one goal wins are worth two points just as four goal wins are - and the Caps are still 18-7-2 when scoring first, 13-3-2 when leading after one period and 18-0-2 when leading after two.

Killer instinct comes with experience - that whole "learning how to win" thing, and while it would be nice as a fan (and nicer still as a player or coach) to be able to relax for the last ten minutes of a third period, the ability to close out opponents more convincingly will come.

More troubling, at present, is the Caps' inability to win - or show up for - big games.

Four times this month, the Caps have played an intradivisional game in which they were within three points of first place in the Southeast Division and their opponent was within two points of them in the standings. The results? A 2-0 loss to Atlanta, a 2-1 loss to Carolina, a 3-2 loss to Atlanta and a 4-2 loss to Florida.

The "good" news is that tonight's opponent, Carolina, is four points ahead of the Caps (with three more games played), so perhaps the boys from D.C. can play a little looser. After all, the "Choking Dogs" label is one part of Caps tradition that this team would no doubt rather do without.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

ESPN might want to rename its "Friday Face Off" segment "Long-Winded Answers to Stupid Questions."... Maxime Ouellet update: acquired yesterday by ECHL Trenton, he gave up seven goals on 28 shots against in his ECHL debut. See ya never, Max!... Finally, one year ago today we looked at the Caps' record with and without a certain rugged blueliner (and enjoyed some musings from the Big Apple), looked at the sellers market for mediocre wingers, tried to figure out why a couple of Caps weren't playing and proposed a trade (that would have been suh-weet), and two years ago today we read some gloom and doom and had a chuckle about the state of Team USA hockey.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Miikka Kiprusoff (38-save shutout win)
  • Ross: Jere Lehtinen, Jussi Jokinen, Brenden Morrow (2 points each)
  • Norris: Derek Morris (Game-tying goal at 19:57 of the third period, 2 SOG, 3 BkS)
  • Vezina: Miikka Kiprusoff (38-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Jere Lehtinen (2G)
  • Calder: Peter Mueller (A on the Morris goal)
  • Aiken: Mathieu Garon (L, 3 goals allowed on 28 shots against in 39:58 of work)


Anonymous said...

I hate to be negative and all, but I woke up this morning with an awful nightmare. I won't give you all the entire gory details because you all just don't wanna hear it. I'll tell you the outcome though. In this game, the Capitals lost 7-2 and it got really, really ugly out there. :(

Anonymous said...

I'm not normally a crazed fan, but, sadly, I too dreamt about a Caps game for the first time in my life. I woke up thinking they had blown the game and we were six points back. Weird.

In other news, Max's photo appears to show him rocking the old-school blue-black-and-bronze of certain former employer....

Anonymous said...

This game is pretty ugly...

some bad calls both ways. I'll keep my optimism hoping that the Caps can come back in the third.

Anonymous said...

Painful to watch. Just painful.

Anonymous said...

Blame the first anonymous person in this thread.

Oh wait, that's mee! Sorry guys. It was really just a dream that turned into deja-vu. :(

Anonymous said...

So BB needs to decide whose to play in the net next game? Make it Johnson. In fact, he can make it Johnson for the rest of the season. Maybe the defense will show up for him. No one taking the body on rebounds at all.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Caps did a good job on the rebounds. It's just that when your goalie has rebound control as back as Kolzig's was, some are going to go to the opposition.

Two of the goals were bad luck - just as many were Erskine's fault. How is he still getting a sweater?

Anonymous said...

Every time the Canes scored, I seriously thought they were showing the highlights of the last goal.... this one was definitely sour, but we do have 20 more to go.

Should teh caps start focusing on possibly the only thing we can get from this season? OV's scoring title?

caps missing the playoffs + Malcolm winning the scoring titles and MVP + me spending > $1000 = a bad year....but maybe a chance to draft some more talent.

Anonymous said...

coincidentally, I wore my red Caps shirt today and tonight while watching the Caps. I'm seriously going to have to rethink that shirt from here on out - b/c they stink when I wearing you psychic dreamers are off the hook - my fault completely on this one...won't happen again.

NS said...

at least when this team sucked it wasn't as bad when they lost (which was a lot).

Sucks a hell of a lot more now, since they are a decent team. much harder to jump from an average to a consistently producing team. a few more pieces needed, which means some $ needs to leave Ted's wallet.

We still cannot clear the fucking crease in front of Olie or make QUICK and SMART outlets from our own zone.

I hope GMGM finds a way to land B.Jackman.

D.C One Timer said...

i hate john erskine...

Dan, Jr. said...

For most of the game, the only thing the Caps' defense was consistant at was helping to screen their own goalie. One of the few bright spots was the full game effort by Kozlov.

Anonymous said...

JP --> suggested One-Timer:

Kolzig said. "The thing about games in hand, you have to win them."

(From Post article Sunday)

Anonymous said...

When you're playing 9 on 5, you're going to lose. Period. That was hideous. Just start throwing pucks into the net and crediting as a goal, mr. referee, you'd be slightly less blatant.

Kolzig played a great game up until about halfway to go in the third, but by then, the whole team was flat on it's feet. And why not? You can't win a 9 on 5 game anyway, so just don't waste your energy and save it for the next one.

JP said...

@ Joella: Thx!