Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Too Little, Too Late

Okay - can we all agree that we're even now (and then some)?

The Sabres came into our building 3 weeks ago and fell behind early in the first period. Their starting goaltender was yanked before the first period was 10 minutes old. They got beat 7-4. Ovie had a "cheap shot" on their star.

Tonight the Caps went to Buffalo and fell behind early in the first period. Johnson was pulled before the end of the first period. The Caps lost 6-3. Ovie got a very cheap shot from their star.

Are we done now? Can we all start acting like grownups and move on?

(Probably not, but let's get to tonight's game anyways.)

There is nothing uglier than what crawled out onto the ice in that first period. To give up 6 goals in less than 10 minutes is unacceptable, and there is not one person out there in a Caps sweater who can't take some responsibility for what happened in the opening frame. Johnson had a right to be every bit as pissed off as he was - the Caps D, or lack thereof, absolutely hung Johnny out to dry. Good for him for the little stick-breaking temper tantrum a la Olie; I can think of no better time to break that one out.

This game had the potential of getting even uglier, but thankfully the Caps decided to show up for the final forty minutes and make a game of it. I was very proud of the way they came out for the second and third period to at least make the Sabres earn those two points.

- The first period. Good God. 6 goals on 9 shots is ridiculous, I don't care how many funny bounces the puck takes.
- Pothier - honestly, I have been one of Brian's biggest fans since he arrived here, but he has really been putting up some stinkers over the last week, and tonight was no exception. Every player is allowed to have a rough patch; let's just hope Potsie gets through this one quickly.
- Mike Green may have to be thrown into that one as well - too many penalties and turnovers for the young'un.
- Too many penalties in general, marginal calls or not, really put a damper on the Caps rally attempt in the final forty minutes. Every time they would get some momentum going, someone was on the way to the sin bin.

- Briere's little spear on Ovechkin was ridiculous and I'm amazed it wasn't called. I understand wanting a little payback, but this was intentional and malicious. It's interesting, because he seemed to use a teammate as a screen so it wouldn't be called - almost like it was rehearsed...but I'm not into conspiracies. We'll call it an accident. Little Danny's stick blade just slipped, right into Ovechkin's crotch.

I may have to backtrack on some of that stuff I've said about Briere being a classy player.

- Ovechkin - the boos really didn't seem to phase him at all. In fact, they almost seemed to spur him on and fire him up; it looked like he picked up speed whenever they started. He had an all-around great game tonight. And good for him for not only scoring a goal but doing the little hand-to-ear move in celebration - Ovie's not one for showboating like that and I usually don't encourage that sort of behavior, but I loved every second of it tonight.
- The Caps didn't need rally helmets to get back into this one, scoring two pretty goals followed by a momentum-busting shortie, also a nice shot, by our captain. Major kudos to Hanlon for keeping the boys' heads up after that first period and for saying whatever it was he said that made them play like they've been playing.
- Lawrence Nycholat earned his first NHL point with his assist on Ovie's goal in what I thought was another very good game for him.
- Olie bounced back after those two quick goals, neither of which he had any chance on, and ended up with 33 saves on the night to keep the Caps within striking distance.

So an ugly night turns into a somewhat salvageable night, but a loss nonetheless. Unfortunately the Caps got little help from other teams tonight and slide down to ninth place with a Boston overtime loss.

Next up - my Habs are in DC tomorrow night for a midweek tilt and another crucial two points.

Gameday preview to come...


Netsrak said...

"To give up 6 goals in less than 10 minutes is unacceptable..."

Well, less than eleven minutes. Goal #6 went in at 10:57 of the first period.

Also, "my Habs"? De quoi s'agit-il?

CapsChick said...

Oh...guess it felt faster. I think I blacked out for a bit during that first period. Blech.

That's right, my Habs - my other team, because I went to college in Montreal and developed a love for the Canadiens. Don't worry, my loyalty is always to the Caps first!

Netsrak said...

College in Montréal?!? Mon dieu! Don't tell me you're French-Canadian too, or else I may have to stop visiting your blog. :)

(Une Québécoise a brisé mon coeur, et maintenant je suis très amer...)

CapsChick said...

No, I'm 100% from the District...I just went to school up there.

Je suis désolé qu'un Québécoise ait brisé votre coeur. Elles ne sont pas tout ce mauvais.

Netsrak said...

Il est bon. J'ai récupéré de la douleur, et je suis heureux.

[commence aux sanglots de façon hysterique]