Nothing warms the heart more after a Duck-beatdown than the sweet sound of Flyers' fans booing their team...*sigh.*
Caps fans, this was a good night.
I'm going to dive right in, because I need to save my typing strength for the upcoming battle against Crybaby & Friends Monday night.
- Penalty killing was spotty at best, allowing 2 goals. That's the most in a game since that lovely 7-1 loss to Toronto, when they allowed 3. I'm sure the fact that they took 9 penalties overall had nothing to do with that, right? It just goes to show you that no matter how crappy the other team is with the extra man, they're still going to score if you give them enough opportunities.
- 2nd period doldrums hit once again, as the Caps blew the lead not once but twice in the middle frame. The Flyers scored all three goals in that period and the Caps continue to be unable to put together that solid 60 minute effort. This one has shades of good in it, though, as the Caps maintained their composure despite blowing leads and actually got two of their own on the board - a pretty breakaway shortie by Laich (loving him lately, by the way) and a quick response goal from Clark 13 seconds after the Flyers tied it up the first time.
- Officiating was better than the Ottawa game, but some of those calls...what was with the phantom high-sticking call on Brashear? It looked like he and the Philly player just kind of bumped into each other. Hang on, I just need to grab my white towel...
- Go Johnny Go!! Johnson once again pulled through for the Caps with some great saves, and they responded by actually (gasp!) putting up some goals in support. He finished the night with 33 saves, and continues the work of what has been a wonderful goaltending tandem.
- I think the Caps are starting to really improve on their transition game - the puck goes into their zone and a d-man is able to get it efficiently up the ice to a forward who takes it in for at least a shot on goal. It's a nice change of pace; I'm still having nightmares about those games where it would take them 5 minutes to get the puck out of their own zone...still can't sleep with the light off...
- Ovie. Oh, and Clark...Zubie, too. Pettinger. Beech. Semin, Brashear, Laich...you know what? All the forwards - I was very impressed with their play again tonight. They seemed to all be back in the groove from the winning streak, and that's a good sign. That's not to say that the D played badly tonight, either. Okay, let's just throw the whole darn team in there. Solid effort all around and if you missed it, this was the first time the Caps have won back to back games in Philly since 1994.
Did I mention how much I love hearing Philly fans boo when we come to town? Because I really do love it. It just...I just...I'm sorry, I'm getting a little choked up here and the screen is a little blurry.
For now go read the recaps in the Post and on NHL.com; I'm sure I'll have more to talk about tomorrow. Oh, and for more proof that Ovie is just the sweetest, classiest player on the face of the earth, check out Vogel's blog.