Friday, December 08, 2006

Ducks Fly Higher Than Caps

I think we all knew that the Caps' winning streak couldn't last forever, and I was about 85% sure that it would end tonight.

However, I was hoping it wouldn't end quite this way - the Ducks grabbed a hold of the game tonight from the opening faceoff and didn't let go, with the Caps mustering just one goal to snap a season-high 4 game streak.

Tonight was very frustrating, mostly because I couldn't tell if the Caps just weren't playing well or if the Ducks are just that good. I've landed on the conclusion that it's somewhere in the middle. And that's important - I don't want to take away from what is in fact a very talented Ducks team...but let's face it, the Caps did not look like the same team that had so decisively beaten 4 top clubs in the last week.

It all started with a very sloppy opening few minutes - a flat start hurt them as the Caps fell behind 1-0 before the game was a minute old. Already it was a departure from their last four games where they scored first and held the lead for the entire game.

That should have been the first signal for me to change the channel.

But like the masochist I am, I kept watching. Despite two fights in the next three minutes, the Caps failed to pick up any momentum and continued to muddle through the first period. Then came the defining moment, the moment that would prove how different tonight would be - it was when Olie misplayed the puck during a Caps power play, a rarity in itself, to give Todd Marchant the easiest shorthanded goal he will ever score.

That's all the Ducks would need - it would all be downhill from there. Up until now all the bounces had gone the Caps' way, but tonight nothing seemed to be bouncing in their favor. That's bad enough - throw in a team that can absolutely shut down your offense like the Ducks did tonight, and you're in for a looong night.

I'm too cranky and too cold (the heat's not working in our apartment and it's about 25 degrees out right now) to do good/bad, so I'll shorthand it. I thought everything was just mediocre, with the exception possibly being the play of Pettinger and Brashear - I thought they played pretty well.

There's no shame in losing to the Ducks, though, so let's try and avoid the doom and gloom that inevitably follows every Caps loss. Despite the loss, the Caps are still turning into a pretty solid hockey team, and you know what? No team wins all 82 games.

Shocking revelation, I know.

Next up: Philly, the city of brotherly love and obnoxious fans.
Gameday preview to follow...


FS said...

Be glad you sat this one out. Oy vey.

Novaron said...

Oy vey indeed.