Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Bumpy Win

In a game where neither team looked particularly impressive, all you can ask is that your team is the better team. The Caps were just that for most of the game tonight and picked up not only an important two points but an important win as well. Tonight was just not pretty to watch. That's often the case when either Florida team pays us a visit, and I'm not sure what it is, but I think when we call this a division "rivalry" we're playing fast and loose with the meaning. But you know the saying - it wasn't pretty but it didn't have to be.

Come to think of it, that should be the Caps' team motto...ah, well. Maybe next year. On with the show!

- Kolzig, Kolzig, Kolzig...when you are quoted in the papers as saying you let in one a night that you should stop, are you viewing that as a challenge? Is this some kind of weird streak you're aiming for? I assure you, it's not one that will show up in the record books. Legs. Together. Just for giggles. Vinny doesn't need any help scoring on us - he does just fine on his own.

- Speaking of Lecavalier, that was a pretty shot that rifled past Olie to pull the Bolts in front 2-1. The turnover that led to it was not. And again, it's not like he has ever needed assistance or incentive to get points against the Caps.

- The Caps were dominant in the faceoff circle, winning 30 of 49 - and none were more so than Brooks Laich, who was 9 for 11. That's 82% for those math-challenged people (or people unable to read a scoresheet). Vinny the Great? 7 for 18. And that's not counting the 32943 times he got tossed from the faceoff circle...I might be rounding up there, but it was a lot.

- When is the last time you saw the Caps take only one penalty in a game? Even the one they took, an Ovechkin minor that prevented St. Louis from having a breakaway, wasn't a full penalty because it came while on the power play. Discipline, thy name is Boudreau.

- Lightning goaltending is usually kind of a joke, but let's not kid ourselves - Ramo can play. That being said, he was giving up a ton of rebounds and give credit to the Caps for picking up on that fact. They were very good at crashing the net and causing chances, which led directly to two of the three goals.

- Semin, Ovechkin, Steckel. Ladies and gentlemen...your Lightning-killers.

- The fourth line looked really impressive tonight. Laing, Steckel and Bradley combined for a +7 on the night and created some of the best chances, dominating the play almost every time they were on the ice. I've been asked a few times whether I would prefer Laing over Bradley, and the answer is still no - but what do you do when they play really well together? Gordon is probably in tomorrow night, so it looks like we'll have an answer to that question soon enough.

- Kozlov, Pettinger and Fleischmann need to pool their salaries - they can't buy a goal between them, and say what you will about any of them but it's not for lack of trying.

- Boy, was Ovie having a rough night or what? That was one of his worse games of the year.

Next up...Pittsburgh. Here we go again.


DMG said...

hmmm, I thought the Caps looked pretty good; if Ramo hadn't made some gret saves the Caps could have easily had 6.

And here's some role reversal: I'm gonna defend Kolzig (I'm not just a contrarian, I swear!) It would have been nice for him to have that last one, but he sent the rebound out far enough that his team should have clear it, and the five-hole becomes vulnerable when you're recovering while going side-to-side like that. Plus I think he did a good job holding the post tonight, which is a huge improvement.

Hopefully he;s coming out of his funk.

Dan, Jr. said...

I completely agree with DMG. To me, this was an exciting game all around. Setting aside the outcome of each, I enjoyed it much more than the last two games. Almost every Cap was putting in an effort for the whole game.

CapsChick said...

I didn't think the Caps looked BAD per se...just...rough. There were some weird bounces and incomplete passes by both teams. And why do I always feel like Tampa is the hockey equivalent of Nyquil?

I don't know, though. Were you guys there? I'm not sure if it looked more exciting on TV than it was in person - the Caps certainly had the upper hand in terms of chances and the last few minutes of each period were exciting but overall it was your typical Caps-Bolts game. ZZZzzzzzzz.

Maybe it's just me ;)

Dan, Jr. said...

I watched the game on TV. I'm not saying all aspects were pretty. Garbage goals are just as good as the pretty ones. Ovie fanned on one slapshot attempt. I tend to not expect excitement from Kozlov. And there's always some things that could be done better. But, it was all the energy and effort that I liked. I was especially impressed by the efforts of Steckel, Flash, Laing and Laich. Again, seemed better than the last couple games to me.

CapsChick said...

I'm getting the sense that maybe it was just me, actually. Not only has everyone else said it was a good game but I also reread the things I wrote in this recap and it doesn't sound as bad as it felt. I guess even brilliant, witty bloggers have an off night, right? ;)

boltsfan said...

it took me a while to get over this one... stupid video goal review in toronto :( oh well... that's not the reason why we lost. the caps really deserved this one tonight. the only reason the game wasn't a blowout was due to the fantastic play of karri ramo, my fav goalie :). i did get a kick out of ovechkin during the break... him riding his segway down DC. when asked why he was doing it, he answered "For the girls." :D