Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Roundup/Caps 4, 'Hawks 2

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Event Summary - Recap]

Twenty-six seconds into last night's 4-2 win over the Blackhawks, I doubt there was a single person associated with the Caps - from ownership and management to the fans, from the media to the peanut vendors - who didn't ask her or himself, "What the hell have we gotten ourselves into?"

Luckily, however, Jose Theodore rebounded from an awful early goal (or two) and shut down the 'Hawks over the game's final 48 minutes, making a couple of big saves (and getting a helper) along the way. A 2.00 GAA and .904 save percentage? Good enough, Jose.

Some thoughts on the game:
  • 1-1 is a whole hell of a lot better than 0-2, especially with Roberto Luongo up next.
  • The Caps fired 34 shots on goal (John Erskine was the only player not to register a single one) and another 25 that missed or were blocked. The sites still need a little fine tuning.
  • The power-play was 0-for-4 and only had eight shots on in eight minutes with the extra man. That's will not do.
  • The Caps were better in the dot than on Friday night, winning half of the game's draws, but David Steckel (37.9% through two games) and Nicklas Backstrom (28.6%) continue to struggle there (is there such thing as a sophomore face off slump?). On the plus side, the Caps won 63% of the faceoffs when on the power play and 64% on the penalty kill.
  • The 'Hawks showed no killer instinct, which isn't surprising from a young team (and was in many ways somewhat reminiscent of the Caps until not long ago).
  • Are the Caps cheerleaders really called The Red Rockers? Maybe (maybe?) I'm juvenile, but this is what comes to mind.
  • Alex Ovechkin is still good at hockey (and is on an 82-goal/50-in-50 pace), and lead all forwards in SH ice time.
  • A day after noting that "I'd like to see more of The Captain," Chris Clark played just 10:40, second-lowest total to Donald Brashear. Easing him back in? Is he not 100%?
  • My eyes told me that Tomas Fleischmann was doing some good things, but his Corsi Rating (CR) says otherwise - for the second consecutive night, his CR was the worst among the forwards and is now a team-worst -18. In fact, his entire line has been in the red for both games. I don't see how the trio can stick together if this trend continues.
Perhaps the best thing to come from last night is that the Southeast Division Champs banner has been raised, Cristobal Huet has come and gone, and now everyone can forget about last year and focus on 2008-09. As Bruce Boudreau said last night, "The more we start thinking about last year, then you have results like you have [Friday] night. It is time to put that behind us. It is a great honor and they deserve it, but once that is done let's focus on what is at hand."


NS said...

Erskine had a wide open shot from the point and freaked out when he realized he HAD to shoot it.

he missed the net by about 6ft. it was actually pretty funny to watch live. you could see him freaking out a liitle

Anonymous said...

I thought Fleischmann looked decent also but then you, as usual, had to lay out some statistics to the contrary. Spoilsport!

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm being juvenile, but the wife and I have taken to yelling "C'mon buddy, don't suck!" every time Flash has the puck.

It's not working.

Also: After Friday's (lack of) performance, I love that J.P. and Tarik both use "Theodore" and some form of "rebound" in the same sentence.

Anonymous said...


I guess I'm either less juvenile, or, just plain old, but when I hear Red Rocker, I think of this. Or this, for the music nerds.

Also-- I do think Flash looks a bit better this year, as well, despite your fancy book-learned statistics.

Hey--Am I the only one that was thinking Schultz should have passed it right back to Ovie?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure who else thought about this but couldn't someone have ironed the banner before it was raised.

It looks like something that sat in the drier for a day. Pretty embarrassing.

Mark Bonatucci said...

JP: I thought Flash looked pretty good last night, of course after Friday night the bar he set for himself was pretty low.

amineb: I didn't even notice the wrinkles nor do I care.

All: Lets all agree on one thing - Larry Brooks may well be the biggest a&& in sports journalism.