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Wins feel so good right now, it almost doesn't matter how they come. Ugly, bizarre wins are worth the same amount as pretty wins.
That being said, I was very impressed with this one - the Caps came out and simply dominated from start to finish, dictating the pace of the game, generating scoring chances, and mucking up the neutral zone enough to simply take Florida out of the game.
Just a couple of quick notes:
- Backstrom easily could have had two or three goals tonight. Pettinger could have, as well.
- Johnson only faced 25 shots tonight, but he was very solid and made a couple of great saves, including one stellar one simply robbing Nathan Horton with his glove. It's about time the Caps got Johnny another one in the win column.
- This was the second straight game that the Caps had only 3 giveaways. Looks like they've finally figured out that turning over the puck 15-20 times a night won't help them win.
- Nylander was a +2 tonight - when is the last time you saw him in the plus column, win or lose?
- Matt Bradley had 3 hits and 3 shots in just under nine minutes of ice time. Donald Brashear had 2 hits and 3 shots. That's some good efficient work by those guys, who brought energy and hard work to every shift they had.
- Lots of blocked shots again tonight - Poti and Laing with four apiece, Ovie with three (although I'd really rather he didn't do that) and a team total of twenty.
- Vokoun really stood on his head to keep this game close, so it was nice to see both Caps' goals of the funny bounce variety. Maybe it's a sign that their luck is starting to turn...
- Penalty killing continues to be impressive, but I'm also loving how disciplined the Caps have been lately and really all year long. They've limited the number and type that they've taken, although Semin continues to take his requisite hooking penalty every game and Ovie was less than disciplined on both his minors tonight.
Now the Caps have a very long break in between games, out of action until Friday when they travel to lovely Newark, New Jersey. Time to learn all of Boudreau's systems and start the long uphill climb back to respectability. The last two games the Caps have been the better team, and if they keep it up they're going to have more games with results like tonight than last night.
Don't forget, this is a long season - we have a ways to go before you can count this team out of anything. I'm starting to see the tide turn.