Monday, October 08, 2007

Squeaking Out a Win

There aren't many teams that can come out flat, fall behind early, blow repeated chances with the extra man including extended time 5 on 3, register only 12 shots on goal...and win. And if that team is wearing a Caps uniform, the odds of it happening would, historically, go down even more.

But that's exactly what happened - and even though there were a lot of problems with this game, a lot of mistakes made, and a lot of stretches where the Caps simply looked out of sync, this was a good win for the team. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't good. But it's two points and it serves as a further demonstration that this scrappy little team, when infused with a little talent, is head and shoulders above where they were last year.

GOOD
- Olie earned his 35th career shutout on Saturday night but really didn't have to be spectacular until the last ten minutes of the game. He made up for it today, allowing just one goal on 31 shots and making save after save to keep the Caps in this one.

Photo courtesy of AP

- The former Islanders heard it from the crowd whenever they touched the puck but it certainly didn't faze them, as both made their mark on the game. Kozlov brought the Caps back even with his second period scorcher over DiPietro's glove and Poti made a great defensive play on a shorthanded breakaway, using his long reach to make a clean poke check that probably saved the game.

- Good for Laich, who earns his first goal of the season just three games in. He makes it a pretty one, too, cradling the puck around a fallen DiPietro and a diving Martinek to bury it for the GWG.

- The penalty killers continue to do their job and do it well, killing off all four penalties including an extended 5 on 3. The Caps have now killed off all 13 penalties they've been assessed - but again, the even better part is that there have only been 13 penalties (including yet another cheesy one on Clark today).

- The story on the Island to this point has been the play of the Fedotenko-Comrie-Guerin line, who ran roughshod over the Sabres this weekend. The Caps held them off the scoreboard, though, and even drew a few penalties against Mr. Hillary Duff.

BAD
- I guess just saying the first 50 minutes would be vague, right? The Caps started game 1 and 2 on fire, flying out of the locker room and taking first period leads in both. This time around they just looked flat and disconnected for a good part of the first period.

- Even though the Caps have only connected twice on the power play, it has looked pretty decent so far, and it started out fairly well today, too. But with each man advantage it looked like the power play got worse and worse - and when you're up 5 on 3 its bad enough to not score; its even worse to allow a shorthanded breakaway.

- 12 shots. 12 shots?? With all the firepower on this team I'm amazed at that number. To be fair there were quite a few blocked shots by Brendan "the Human Bruise" Witt, but still...12 shots??? Fascinating.

- If Ovie takes any more sticks to the face he's going to start looking like Brind'amour...

8 comments:

Dan, Jr. said...

They can't all be a thing of beauty. Even though this game won't make to any magical moments highlight reel, we'll take the win. And yeah, I'm a little concerned about all the high sticking. Win a player's face gets sliced & diced, maybe the penalty should be more than a minor one.

Dan, Jr. said...

I'm also a little concerned about the fact that I can't spell. Sorry.

CapsChick said...

Exactly - I'm so excited that they got an ugly win under their belts. It shows that they can win by being flashy and they can win by just staying in there and working hard.

And two points is two points!

fatdaddy said...

I think we give them a mulligan on their play this time, due to the early start time, the fact that it was the third game in 4 days, and the fact that they were bound to have a clunker eventually. With some time off, they ought to come out agains the Rangers flying. If they don't, then I'll start to think the first two games were a fluke.

In closing, I want to tell you all that I hate Jaromir Jagr.

Shelby said...

GO CAPS GO CAPS GO CAPS GO CAPS.

This is just....amazing. I know, I know, I don't want to curse them with predictions this early. But COME ON. This is so awesome. I love 'em regardless, but this really helps.

Anyone see Laicher's goal? Anyone? Anyone? Pretty, right? I love to see my favorite boy break his 20-game scoreless streak.

Chris & Sarah said...

Got to see the replay on Comcast tonight, and it wasn't pretty. But there were still some impressive plays. Erskine's defense on the Isles 2 on 1 showed some heads-up D, and Poti's hustle on the 5 on 3 shorthanded breakout to fix the mistake.

There is hope in the air.

Victor said...

If Ovie takes any more sticks to the face he's going to start looking like Brind'amour...

Don't you really mean "Gary Cheevers's mask?"

PaV said...

OK - I am a little scared - Ottawa, Caps & Tampa are the only teams in the Eastern Conference that haven't lost - I can understand Ottawa.. but.. Tampa? The Caps are looking better and better each game..