Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Olé, Olé Olé Oh Crap...

You know, if the Habs were playing any other team tonight the outcome would make me dance around like a moron.

But they weren't and I'm not - instead I was forced to watch the Habs fans rejoice from every corner of the Phone Booth while my boys dropped the ball.

What's frustrating is that they weren't even completely abysmal tonight. Don't get me wrong, they didn't play well, either. It just felt like everything was a little off - every pass was in the skates or just out of reach of the stick (or if it connected, it was with a Montreal stick); every hit took out the Hab but left the puck trickling to another white jersey; every shot seemed to go just wide or right smack into Huet's crest. And don't even get me started on the faceoffs tonight - I think by the end people were cheering sarcastically whenever they managed to win one.

I don't know, maybe they caught some weird virus in Buffalo...wouldn't completely surprise me.

Whatever the reason, it seemed like everyone was skating a tad slower or hitting with less energy, and that's never a good way to come out against a well-rested team. Montreal was ready to go when the game started, and the Caps were clearly not. The bigger problem is that they failed to come out with any jump in the second period, either. Apparently they need to be down by 6 to attempt a rally of any kind.

That's not to put down the play of the Habs, who are a pretty good team in their own right, or Huet, who did make some great saves on the few scoring chances the Caps mustered. The Caps just didn't bring it tonight.

Despite the overall sluggishness of the team, however, there were some good individual performances that made the game worth watching...if only momentarily.

Brooks Laich - every shift he was hitting, boxing the Habs into their own zone, intercepting passes, drawing penalties and getting scoring chances. Another great all-around game for Brooksie, who is again becoming one of the more consistent players on the roster.

Boyd Gordon - very similar game to Laich; he was the Caps best penalty killer as always and just made some great plays.

Chris Clark - Clarkie almost always brings it, and tonight was no exception. The puck may not always have bounced his way, but he was certainly scrappy in trying to get control of it. Extra points for drawing a penalty on Rivet after he threw a punch at Craig (although if one more person grabs the faceshield I'm going to lose it...)

Donald Brashear - he had some jump tonight and got a couple of good shots on goal. Oh, yeah, and he had that little scuffle at center ice. I don't think Downey thought that one through completely until they started circling one another. Brash just wiped the floor with the poor guy.

Steve Eminger - not a bad night for Steve tonight, with some decent defensive plays and even a scoring chance. I know, I'm as surprised as you are.

The Cheap Seats Doghouse:
1) Brian Pothier - a slightly better game tonight for Potsie (that's setting the bar low), but he is having quite a rough stretch.
2) Mike Green - Green is showing his youth lately, taking dumb penalties and jumping up into the play when he really needs to stay back and play defense...what a concept.
3) Dainius Zubrus - I don't know if it's just me, but over the past few games Zubie seems to be trying to do too much by himself. And his aim could use a little work, too.

Honorable Mention - Shaone Morrisonn, for clearly giving his flu to the entire team and forcing them to drop four of five.

Yeah, the flu. That's the problem. *Sigh*

Friday night, kids - matchup with the Devils in Hell, er, New Jersey.


Jordi said...

How do you get these so fast!? Though I was watching some trashy movie afterwards :).

I wouldn't be surprised if you guys won, because I agree. Our team wasn't bringing the whole full game and a lot of the game had me feeling fustrated. Not to mention the last couple of minutes had me squealing till I was hoarse. It was a lacklustre game and it had me down even when we won. Maybe our team was a little rusty, because one moment we're going batshit crazy and getting antsy and slapping each other - and then the next moment we're just dumping the puck and the shift changes were reaaally slow.

I'm a bit embarrassed after hyping Komisarek though he played a relatively good game until he took that crappy penalty. But to be fair he got speared in the nads.

Victor said...

I don't think you got there early, but right after the doors opened, Brash was still on the ice, in an Under Armor shirt, shorts, and skates, just smacking a puck around. Watching warmups, the Caps skated well, I thought. I think they used up all of their energy before the game started; somewhere toward the end of the second I almost started yelling, "Wake up, Caps!"

CapsChick said...

Jordi: I try to get these up as soon as I get home so I don't forget anything because my memory sucks. Plus this way I get my frustration out so I can sleep :)

Did Komisarek really get speared? I missed that one...oops...

Victor: I think they wore themselves out, too. My stepmother was actually yelling "Wake up, Caps" from the start of the game.

E said...

y'all did alright given the scheduling and the virus, and hey, you've got a couple chances to get vengeance coming up. personally i thought the speed was okay, but the caps seemed strategically misaligned, if that makes sense.

and in regards to your earlier post about divided loyalties, polyamorous hockey fandom is a wonderful thing, especially when it involves talented and vocal bloggers, and benefits the habs.

CapsChick said...

Strategically misaligned - makes perfect sense, couldn't have said it better myself.

If you're calling me a talented and vocal blogger, I'll take that as a huge compliment. If you're just trying to butter me up in hopes of converting me to a full-time Habs fan...well, let's just see what happens next Thursday and we'll talk. :)

I'm kidding, I'm kidding!