Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Roundup/'Hawks 5, Caps 0

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Super Stats]

Oy. The Caps picked a helluva time to lay an egg, eh?

I don't know where to start with last night's team effort loss, so I won't. The bottom line is simply that an already small margin for error is now tiny and approaching Martin St. Louis-sized - if you buy into this statistical model, the Caps now have a 17.7% chance to make the playoffs, with a 5-1-1 finish giving them only a 61.7% shot at the post-season.

Tomorrow night in Atlanta the Caps will try to get things back on track. Every game from here on out is more or less an elimination game - let's see how they respond.

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

You know who hates Bill McCreary? I mean, besides everyone? The Sens and their fans.... I'd love to know which coach is the jackass who dropped the second quote in this article, especially in light of the fact that 14 goals in 21 games is a 55+ goal pace.... Everyone knows that Josh Godfrey has a bomb of a shot.... Finally, one year ago today we took Dave Fay to task for a questionably titled article that only got worse from there, smacked around the Dallas Stars' owner for an aggressive display of mock outrage and took a peak at the Vezina race, and two years ago today we previewed that night's Caps/Habs game and threw some nice little nuggets your way.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Jason Pominville (2G, 2A, +4)
  • Ross: Jason Pominville (4 points)
  • Norris: Mike Weber (+5, 5 hits, and in answer to your next question... Buffalo)
  • Vezina: Nikolai Khabibulin (25-save shutout win)
  • Richard: Henrik Zetterberg, Thomas Vanek (3G each)
  • Calder: Jonathan Toews (G, 4 SOG)
  • Aiken: Karri Ramo (L, 6 goals allowed on 31 shots against, 3 goal third period lead blown... thanks)


NS said...

turned the game off in 2nd period. haven't done that all year. Caps looked like they were playing a preseason game.

oh, and Kane is really good. no way he does not win the Calder.


1) Well, few expected a 6-0 road trip, and is it not better to lose like last night, or how it went against Boston/Pit last week?
2) Some disturbing trends non-the less. Caps have played 1 good period of the 6 so far on the trip.
3) Yes, the margin for error, which wasn't large to begin with, is now infinitesimal. Bottom line, they have to run the table to get in, and will need help if they lose 1-2 of their remaining games.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe none of the teams we are chasing are losing games (i.e. carolina)

I mean i didnt expect the caps to win out but i was hoping carolina would start losing some games and make it easier on us or at least put less pressure to win every game

this is just awful...

playoffs are not only a longshot, but i honestly dont think we have a chance in fucking hell anymore

fuck... we have to "out win" carolina be THHREE wins over the next 7 games to pass them...

so that means if they win 4 of their next 7 games, we need to win all 7 games... or if they win 3 games, we need to win 6... etc...

if they win 5 games, we have no chance at the SE crown

i wanna go cry in a corner

Paul Nichols said...

The SE Crown is almost a pipe dream anyway. They've got a better shot ofcatching Philly than they do in winning the division.

Philly has a 2-point edge and Buffalo has a 1-point edge over the Caps. It all comes down to who finishes better. I never expected them to come back and win the division anyway.

All three play tomorrow night. In a perfect world, the Caps win and the Sabres and Flyers both lose in regulation. Then we're tied with Philly.

Although I have to admit, I'm getting a bad feeling in the back of my mind - remembering back to the 79-80 season, when we missed out on the playoffs on the last DAY because we tied the Atlanta Flames. I still have the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

The quote about Ovechkin: Definitely very dumb. But I like the fact that the majority of the coaches would award the Hart to Ovy. Also great to see that about 70% per cent of the voters on are voting for Ovy to win the Hart no matter if the Caps get in or not. All signs seem to be pointing in the right direction..

About the playoffs: I can't see the Caps winning the division. To have any chance they would have to beat Carolina in regulation twice and I don't see that happening. The Canes are just too good. But there's still a good chance to get to eighth or seventh, I think.

Anonymous said...

Relax. Let's see how things play out. Keep in mind the hole the Caps were in when GH got canned.

Most teams would keep the hot goalie in the net. Not this team. Gotta keep 'em both "fresh".

Rebounds come off Kolzig like tennis balls off a racquet. Sorry, but when shots hit Huet in the chest they get absorbed. Toews goal was a direct result of a rebound. It's wasn't the back breaker by any means but Huet just eats shots up.

JP said...

I would be surprised and disappointed if Kolzig started another meaningful game this season.

NS said...

Huet has proven that he is a clutch goalie that doesn't lose his cool. he makes the big saves and all those little ones (aka good rebound control). And he's damn quick.

that being said, even if he started, we would have still lost last night.

you could telegraph every pass the Caps made. they look way too tight out there.

we must resign Huet. There are no other UFA goalies at the end of the year that are worth picking up. No Huet next year, no playoffs. Period.

doubleas said...

It is not the end of the world unless they keep playing like they have in the last 5 periods.

I've still got the caps in the playoffs going 5-2 losing to the Hurricanes and the Panthers.

Flyers (3-5) and Sabres (2-4-2) have tough schedules. Bruins do too, but I have them in as well. Panthers go 4-2-1.

~Mark said...

@NS~ ditto about turning off the game. I also have not done that in some time. Just too sickening to watch.

@JP~ I think that should be the case (about Olie and meaningful starts), but BB will certainly say last night was not Olie's fault, yada, yada, yada. Although somewhat true, it might have been a closer game with which to rally from had a couple of those goals been stopped. For instance, The Toews goal where he crashed the crease... Olie let his right pad off the post, allowing the puck to squirt in. I've watched Huet closely in his starts, and that's a goal he doesn't allow in. He understands that you have to hold the post. Also, the Perreault (sp?) shot seemed rather stoppable. That game may have been the nail in our coffin. I hope I'm wrong.

JP said...

It definitely wasn't all Olie at all last night. But does anyone want their playoff chances riding on a guy who, for example, plays breakaways like he played that Bourque goal?

CD said...

Seriously, was i the only one that heard the announcers say, "The Caps are playing shitty hockey," during the second intermission? My fiancee was with me, so i know it wasn't just my imagination. i repeated it about ten times on my TiVo, just in case.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, you guys are bunch of bandwagoners or completely delusional. Did you all really think they were going to run the table (which would mean a 12 game winning streak)? Take a look at the Sabres and Philly schedules and realistically tell me that you think they're going to each get five wins out of their remaining eight games. I don't. Yet, I can see five or six wins easy from the Caps schedule. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and relax. This race isn't even close to being over.

Paul Nichols said...

CD - I heard that SAME THING. I thought I must have heard it wrong. It sure sounded like that to me. And, of course, it was true.

I think it was Joe B. that said it, and I thought Laughlin was going to make a hulabaloo about it, but he passed right over it.

Glad someone else heard that.

Whiter Mage said...

Well, I'd rather have this game against Chicago than Carolina.

Stokley Rose said...

CD & Paul - I heard the same thing! But someone on the message boards suggested that the word was actually "shinny." I don't know what shinny hockey is but if it means shitty, then the term was accurate.

Last night was not fun.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

From what I've heard about it, shinny hockey is hockey that really young kids play that involves no hitting. Hence tons of goals are scored. Kind of like those adorable free for alls they have between periods with like 20 kids on the ice and a dozen pucks at once.

Anonymous said...

this is just awful...

playoffs are not only a longshot, but i honestly dont think we have a chance in fucking hell anymore

The Flyers are 4-3-3 in their last ten; Boston is 3-4-3. Buffalo is 4-4-2. Not exactly running away with things. Plus, Paul is right - the Capitals have a better chance at the 8 seed than the SE division unless they beat Carolina (in regulation) in both game remaining against them.

The Capitals are also two points out of the last playoff spot. It isn't time to throw in the towel.

Re the goaltending situation. Last night, none of the goals were Kolzig's fault and you're not going to win if you don't score. But I think the team plays much better when Huet is in net. I think they're seen enough goals go through Kolzig's five hole this year to feel like every shot has a chance and enough bad rebounds left out to feel like they have to clear everything and collapse on the net. If your goalie makes you feel like you have to prevent shots from the perimeter and close out the front of the net you just wind up playing with very limited creativity in your own end and have trouble breaking out and getting flow going. With how skilled the Capitals are, that's exactly what you don't want.

I'm glad Olie's been playing better the last six or seven weeks and I think he can be a valuable backup in the NHL, but I think that on each and every given night Huet gives the team a better chance to win.

NS said...

JP - maybe you should add dmg's comment on the goalie situation as the next one-timer. spot on.

JP said...

I agree with everything after Last night, none of the goals were Kolzig's fault and

Anonymous said...

I'm flattered ns, but I think it's going to take one hell of a quote to displace that one from Laich!

Well I think you can make the case that Olie should have been able to cover Toews' goal, and I'm not saying that Kolzig played well (his rebound control was atrocious).

But Williams' goal was off a weird defelection, Perrault made a great shot (maybe you can make the case Olie should have had this one), Sharp's was a goal line tap-in and Bourque's was a breakaway. Maybe some of them were stoppable, but I didn't think there were any real soft ones.

Of course, I may be missing something. It's been known to happen.

JP said...

Williams' goal - can't really fault Olie (btw, that draw was the only faceoff Fedorov lost in the first two periods)

Toews' goal - Olie's gotta be able to find and cover that puck

Perreault's goal - could've been stopped

Sharp's goal - no chance

Bourque's goal - Olie was way too passive and indecisive

Those were/are my thoughts on the five - 2 shouldas, a maybe, a fluke and a no chance.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment for each goal, JP. I guess I wasn't clear enough in my original post - I meant to say that I didn't think there were any goal where Olie alone was to blame. Each of those shots/chances were less than ideal situations to put your goaltender in and each is forgivable - at least individually. What I meant to get at was that I don't want to see Olie in net this season unless the Capitals are eliminated because whether or not the goals last night were his fault, the team plays with much more confidence when Huet is in net.

The strange this is that the Capitals seem to have a pretty bright coaching staff, but I don't feel like they're seeing how much better than team is in all three zones when Huet is playing.

Also, btw, if you ever do want to use any comment of mine for anything, please feel free. I'd be quite flattered.

Anonymous said...

JP-you're right on the assessment of the Chicago goals. None of them were blatantly bad goals but who knows what could have happened if just a couple of them had been stopped. And for those who say it wouldn't have made any difference if a couple of goals didn't go in because the Caps could never have come back; did you happen to catch the Tampa-Buffalo game last night? This year anything can happen.

CapsChick said...

I'm taking a kind of zen selective amnesia take on last night's game, comment there.

As for that quote about Ovechkin, I saw that and had to laugh. Only 14 goals in the first 21 games - forget the fact that about 700 guys in the league have 14 goals or fewer over the entire season. And I thought Ovechkin was playing some of his best hockey early in the season even when he wasn't scoring as much and has just gotten better with every game. That's MVP-caliber to me.

Anonymous said...

Well, they won 4 in a row and were due. My only concern right now is after taking the impressive 3-0 lead in the first period against Nashville, they laid eggs in the 2nd and 3rd periods there as well.