Friday, October 26, 2007

Caps Power Play Not Enough

I'm not exactly sure what I expected out of this game - I saw enough of the Canucks in the playoffs last year to know that they've got tons of offensive talent but they like to just kind of lull opponents to sleep and then let Luongo do the rest, which is fine. I like the Canucks when they're not playing the Caps so I won't pick on them too much.

I guess I was hoping that the Caps would let their offense and speed dictate the type of game we'd see and they never really did. The game was, quite frankly, pretty dull.

Let's get right into the good and bad of the game before I fall asleep...

- The power play connected. Twice. Hallelujah.
- Both goals involved players crashing the net. Double hallelujah.
- Ovechkin scored and added an assist, marking his second straight multipoint game of the year
- Clark continued to roll, adding two assists of his own
- After starting off the season fairly shakily, Pothier has really impressed me over the last four or five games and seems to be settling down, making smarter plays and better passes. (I know, I can't believe I just wrote that either...)
- The last 3 or 4 minutes of the game - apparently desperation kicked in right then and the team started playing well. Of course, it helped that the Canucks took a couple of bad penalties to let the Caps' thrilling power play go to work (yeah, I know, I can't believe I just wrote that either...)

- This is the first time this season that I have had to say the following: Mike Green had a very rough night, which included a horrible turnover that led directly to a Vancouver tally.
- Add Semin to the list of guys with sloppy turnovers tonight (although he did have some sneaky shots that seemed to catch Luongo off guard).
- Schultz had a Mike Green-esque night in that he balanced out some really horrifying shifts with some smarter defensive plays. I guess he's starting to improve? I don't know. Until he learns how to hit I'm not really interested in finding out. Bring back Eminger.
- Snarky AP reporters. Observe:

Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault was getting a bit nervous while watching Alex Ovechkin try to rally the Washington Capitals to a victory. Perhaps Vigneault forgot for a moment one salient fact: His goalie, Roberto Luongo, simply doesn't lose to the Capitals.

Is it true to a certain extent? Yes. Is it necessary to write it that way? No. Absolutely not. Obnoxious.
- Never leave a Sedin twin open. Ever. Sneaky little buggers...
- Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

In the "make CapsChick's heart stop beating" category, Clark taking a slapshot to the head was probably the scariest thing I've seen since...well, the last time he got a puck to the head, only this time he stayed down. And when Clarkie goes down and stays down, you know it's bad. He had to be helped off, looking extremely shaky on his feet, and word is he got stitches in his left ear. The only thing I've read about it is a quick, unexplained quote from Hanlon that said "it's not going to be good." I'm not even sure what that means. Scary, scary, scary.

So best wishes to Clark on a speedy recovery. Hopefully you were just a little shaken up and true to Chris Clark form you'll be back very, very soon.

Next up the Caps wing off to St. Louis for an 8:30 matchup with the Blues tomorrow night. Here's your gameday preview: thank you NHL schedule, I have no idea what the Caps will see when they play the Blues because we haven't seen them since 2005. They have Weight and Tkachuk and Kariya and a bunch of good young kids that we never get to watch firsthand. Johnson will be in net against his old team. St. Louis is a place with...a giant arch. Or something.

But the good news is we have eight games against the Panthers. It's all about perspective, people.


Stimpy said...

Don't forget seven more against Atlanta!

Chris & Sarah said...

Two things:

1. Is it me or is there a problem with officiating this year. Two of the three goals came when Caps were in the box on either questionable or non-existent violations. Brashear's sin bin rest was a glaring example of this.

2. Ovie (and others to some extent) seem to be having a problem with puck control. It seems that he's had more fanned shots and rolling pucks so far this year than I've seen in the past couple of seasons.

Chris & Sarah said...

Also, talk about disappointment ... Nick Backstrom has been robbed of his first NHL goal for the second time.


Chris said...

I can't agree with more with your comment about the last 3-4 minutes of the game.

I do disagree with chris & sarah's comment #1 to some extent. Would I have called Brashear's penalty? No, but it was there and Brashear and the rest of the Caps should have been on notice after Clark's interference penalty was called less than two minutes into the game. In any case, the bottom line is that Brashear only played about five shifts last night and still managed to take the penalty that led to the Canucks' game-winning goal without contributing anything really positive. That is unacceptable.

That's said, I do agree with chris & sarah's point about puck control, especially with Ovie. He is letting in a lot of 5-hole goals and pucks trickling under his pads. He's got to tighten up.

DMG said...

I agree Stimpy, I think the Panthers will be tougher opponents than Atlanta and maybe than Tampa.

I think Chris is dead-on about the Brash call, but I disagree about the Clark call. There's no way a moving pick for a guy with the puck isn't going to get seen and called. That wasn't a bad call, it was a bad decision by Clark.

Ron W said...

Ovie's problem with puck control was the bad ice and as far as the officiating, it was far from Fraser's best night. Well I guess we should be thankful they got one of the two high sticks on Ovie right. Seems though they could easily have made many more calls on the Canucks than they did.

Sedin twins sneaky, naw that term belongs to the evil little all-star runt, Mr. St-Louis. He is evil i tell you.

CapsChick said...

The officiating was...rough. I'm trying to avoid saying that too much because it sounds like a cop-out, but it's been true more often than not. The only consistency with the refs this season seems to be their inconsistency. And Fraser = death for the Caps every time, we know that by now. That being said, Clarkie's penalty was ill-advised to be sure.

The ice is really, really bad, but Hanlon's comment last night was true - it was bad for both teams.

And Backstrom!! GAH! He's playing so, so well. It'll go in for him eventually...

The Midget is sneaky, yes - the Sedins are more creepy I guess. Like weird, matching, goal-scoring machines.

CapsChick said...

Oh, and Stimpy...don't remind me. *SIGH*