Thursday, November 30, 2006

Now That's More Like It

A win is always good, especially after losing 6 straight, but tonight's win was a much more satisfying one because of the way the Caps earned the two points. They seemed to play all 60 minutes for the first time in a long time...well, actually, 57 minutes...but who really counts those last 2 Dallas goals?

There were, as always, some defensive missteps and some turnovers along the boards (for the love of god, can the defensemen please go to some sort of clearing the puck out of the zone clinic??). There was even a moment when, dare I say it, Olie looked a little out of position. But the Caps bailed him and each other out of a last minute flurry by the Stars to pick up a very important couple of points.

- A little bit of sloppiness in general made me hold my breath a few times in each period, particularly when any defensemen had the puck in the Caps zone and were trying to clear the zone. I don't understand - does the opposing player standing in plain sight at the blue line become invisible? That's the only explanation I can find for why the Caps insist on just shooting the puck directly at the other team. You'd think by the thirtieth or fortieth time that didn't work they'd try something else...
- Not necessarily bad, because I thought overall he had a spectacular game, but Olie really did look a little off at the end of the game. Granted - the defense kind of disappeared a few times but I thought at least one of the Stars' rally attempts was a bit of a softie. All is forgiven, though, because he rocked it the rest of the game.
- Ovechkin and his sticks seemed to be an ongoing saga...actually, sticks in general were a problem for all the Caps - they were breaking sticks (Ovie twice), taking penalties for playing with said broken sticks, goalies and defensemen were dropping sticks...
- Speaking of Ovechkin, he had a bit of a rough night tonight, including losing his grip on the stick during a penalty shot. I guess he's allowed to have an off night, especially if Alex #2 and the rest of the boys pick up the slack
- The little flurry at the end of the game by Dallas made me hang my head a bit - do we have to make it interesting every night? What's wrong with a good old-fashioned shellacking?
- Jamie Heward went down in a heap late in the third period, then flew towards the bench leaving a pool of blood on the ice behind him. I didn't see what happened and didn't notice if he came back out, but hopefully he's okay.
- The Northeast Division was 75% useless tonight - we picked up a point on Tampa and distanced ourselves a bit from Florida, as they lost in a 7-round shootout and a rout respectively. Meanwhile, Montreal and Toronto? Thanks for nothing!

- Forechecking was excellent tonight, as was the general defensive positioning - everyone was taking the body and being aggressive to force a lot of turnovers by Dallas, and there were a lot of intercepted passes by the Caps out of just being in the right place.
- Offensive production again was spread out among the secondary scorers, including Semin with his second in as many games, Klepis with two assists, and Laich with an assist on a really pretty pass to Pettinger. I was especially impressed with the play of the Laich-Gordon-Zednik and the Semin-Beech-Pettinger lines - maybe Hanlon will give these two units a chance even with the return of Zubrus and Bradley.
- The Caps showed a lot of discipline tonight, taking only 4 penalties (two of which were probably not penalties, but whatever) and killing all four off successfully.

- Brashear trying to fight Sydor - that would have been an odd matchup. I guess he missed not having Barnaby their to spar with and picked the first guy who bumped into him. I guess someone's feeling feisty lately...
- After so many failed attempts to keep the puck in the zone on the power play, did everyone else see Semin reach up and make a great catch to keep the puck in? That not only kept the play going but led to his goal a few seconds later. I was thinking we should sign him up for the Nats...but then I saw him try 3 times to toss a puck over the glass during the three stars presentation and thought nah, maybe not.
- Seeing Jeffy in a Dallas sweater - *sigh*. I was watching him all through the warm-up and I'll admit, it ached a little bit. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, too, but I swear he was just standing on the ice deep in thought for a lot of the pre-game skate. I will say though that after the initial shock wore off and the boos died down, I found myself rooting against him right along with his teammates. You never notice when he's on your team, but he really is a bit of a pest out there.

And so we bid farewell to the Stars for a couple of years, and I bid farewell to Halpy - I think I'm ready to move on now. But thanks, Jeff, for the memories and the good times. We'll miss you here in DC. Best of luck!

That'll do it for me - it's another 2 point night, Caps fans!!


Netsrak said...

"Seeing Jeffy in a Dallas sweater - *sigh*. I was watching him all through the warm-up and I'll admit, it ached a little bit."

Maybe you should try counseling, maybe take up a new hobby or something. Anything to keep you from sitting around, staring wistfully at your Jeff Halpern jersey while a sad song plays on the radio.

But whatever you do, don't rush into anything. If you jump into a fling with, say, Richard Zednik fandom, you'll only wind up getting hurt again.

CapsChick said...

Ah, but see - this was my therapy. Seeing him play on a team with Lindros, watching him hit my boys and plant himself in front of Olie...I'm all better now. I've moved on (although I'll still keep the Halpern's signed by everyone).

In fact as of the beginning of this season I had already started a new love affair with someone who shall remain nameless for fear that he will see this...and get a restraining order. That would put a crimp in my fandom.

And no puckbunny accusations, please - this is mostly about hockey ability. Plus if you guys can ogle Ice Girls, I can ogle the actual players! :)

Hey, Netsrak - were you wearing a Chiefs jersey last night? I might have seen you...

Rob said...

I noticed the same thing about Halpy... Did you see the message board say "Hey Lita -- no Halpy. Just for You" -- that was a bit odd.