Friday, November 16, 2007

Gameday Preview: Caps vs. Lightning

Who: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Where: St. Petersburg Times Forum
Tampa, Florida
When: Friday, November 16 8:00 pm

Broadcast Info: CSN, 3WT; SUN Sports

Media Notes:
Washington Post
Washington Times
St. Petersburg Times

After last night's game, Olie Kolzig said to reporters the following: "I don't know if you're going to want to talk to me. I'm probably just going to sound like a broken record."

Consider this to be a similar warning. I think we've been here before - hey, that tree looks familiar...

Yet again this team played fairly well, generated shots on goal, won faceoffs...and lost. What's worse, they only scored one goal against a goalie and a defensive corps that has allowed all kinds of flukey goals in the last week or two.

The Caps have got to find a way to score goals. Even strength, power play, shorthanded, bouncing off the scoreboard, three officials and a post...something. With only 10 goals in their last 7 games (including four in the one win against Ottawa), this does not look like a team that has Alex Ovechkin, Michael Nylander, Viktor Kozlov, Chris Clark, Matt Pettinger, etc., etc., etc. That's some serious firepower going to waste, and not even the absence of sniper Alexander Semin can explain it.

Tampa Bay has got some serious firepower as well, and lately it's connecting. Say what you will about the top-heavy offensive attack used by happy fun guy Tortorella, but you can't argue with the six goals the other night against a Carolina defense that is frankly much tighter than the Caps' blueline. And you can't argue with four straight wins. And you definitely can't argue with averaging just over 3.3 goals per game, second in the league.

If you're wondering the Caps come in 25th.

The best line on the ice last night for the Caps was, surprisingly, the line of Fleischmann-Backstrom-Kozlov. They need to continue playing well and actually add some offense tonight if the Caps even have a shot.

It also wouldn't hurt if they kept mighty mite off the board shorthanded or any of the big three off the board period. Tampa's goaltending has been overachieving of late and the Caps need to get not just shots on net but second and third chances, bounces, deflections, weird ricochets - whatever it takes. Here we go...

2 Minutes with...Caps fans
[crickets chirping]
CC: ...yeah, I know, guys. I'm out of words too. Enjoy the game. Drink up.


gawferstud said...


15 losses in 18 games. Do you still like Hanlon. We need some new blood behind the bench. It's not the injuries. Trust me.


DMG said...

So... how do you feel about the idea of Ilya Bryzgalov in Washington after that debacle?

Bernie Wolfe Fan said...

Guys and Gals,
It is beyond Hanlon's fault and always has been. McPhee has had a decade and he and his experiments need to go. Pat Quinn or Bob Hartley as HC and John Muckler as GM. They have more Rings than I could ever hope for in DC, and whatever baggage they bring can be dealt with by WINNING. We Caps fans are a forgiving bunch but I'm willing to bet my Bernie Wolfe jersey if McPhee does not go, we will always have high draft and the little real fan base we have will be lost.

This situation is disturbing because come spring, I assure you Ovie will want more than just another chance at a hole-in-one, and Olie will want another legitimate kick at the can.

Do you hear this Ted, or are you too busy with your new pay-on-line venture?