Sunday, September 24, 2006

Caps Fall to Devils, 3-1

I try not to let the preseason get me too depressed - after all, on opening day everyone starts with the same record, right?

I'm therefore going to keep the rose-colored glasses on and not think about the fact that for the second time in two nights, the Caps allowed two power play goals and one shorthanded goal. I'm going to ignore the fact that the good guys were kept off the board until late in the third period. I'll turn the other cheek when I see that the Caps had 8 power play chances and converted on exactly none of them.

I do this because I am a Capitals fan, and denial is my way of life. I choose instead to focus on the positives - first of all, the Caps took only 5 penalties, a major improvement over the parade to the sin bin that was Friday night's game in Pittsburgh. Secondly, the Caps outshot the Devils 34-18, marking a clear improvement in the defense when playing 5-on-5...

...and that's all I have, really. Unfortunately because tonight's game was at a non-NHL arena, more detailed information like shift times, penalties, and +/- are for some reason not available. I am instead forced to piece together this wrap-up from the AP wire story on the game and what little information I was able to gather while listening to the 3rd period. (I could go back and listen to the whole game, but it is preseason and even I have Steve Kolbe's play-by-play gives me a nervous twitch.)

So let's look forward - the Caps obviously still have some special teams issues that need to be worked out, some of which will likely improve with the return of Ovie, Zubrus and the rest of the gang. Baby steps, guys - let's start with keeping the puck out of our net when we have the power play...just a thought...

Things to watch for in the coming weeks - Klepis has put together some good performances of late, making the battle of the centers a little more interesting down the stretch. Pothier and Clymer seem to be settling in to their roles on the blue line pretty well and the defense just doesn't look as scary as it did last year...Clymer scored the lone Caps goal tonight (albeit late in the third period) and Brian even got a nice little write up in the Post today.

By the way, I love that the Post and the Times have started a profile war - who will get that coveted interview with JF Fortin first?? Stay tuned to find out!

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