Monday, December 10, 2007

Caps Get the Bounces...Finally

After Friday's loss to the Devils, Boudreau called out the entire team for playing uninspired, lazy hockey. They responded with a dominant win against Atlanta the following night - and the momentum continued tonight, as the Caps came out absolutely flying and proceeded to simply command the pace of most of the game.


There are a few things that are of concern about tonight. First of all, the turnovers in the first period were atrocious, with one of them resulting in a goal. They ended up with 20 turnovers total, way too many to have on a consistent basis. And the Devils second goal (that actually counted) was one of those leaky goals becoming all too common for Olie.

But with a win like this there is a lot to be positive about. For one thing, the bounces finally seemed to go the Caps' way, and that alone is a rarity. Backstrom's goal came off a Kozlov pass that bounced off the net, Schultz's goal deflected off a Devils defenseman and the Devils had what was probably a goal disallowed. We won't go into the fact that the Caps also had a goal disallowed (and in fact not even reviewed) that probably should have been a goal as well...

Backstrom continues to have the hot hands and every game his confidence seems to grow - his goal tonight was just really pretty and finished off a nice sequence of passing and power play pressure by the Caps.

The team recorded 31 hits, with Ovie picking up five and Jurcina leading the team with six. In fact only three players failed to register at least one hit - and I think we're all better off if Fleischmann, Motzko and Semin don't try to hit so much anyways.

Congratulations to Quintin Laing, who scored his first career NHL goal - a hardworking goal for a hardworking player, and the game-winner to boot. He's been a pleasant surprise so far and a big reason why the Caps are playing as well as they are without Clark, Gordon and Nylander. And if you didn't smile at his gap-toothed grin between periods...well, you're dead inside.

So the Caps get another modest winning streak going - Wednesday brings the Rangers into town, a team that recently brought the Devils' own winning streak to a crashing halt. The Caps have been fairly good against the Rangers away from MSG, however, and if nothing else it's always fun to welcome Jagr back to the District. Don't forget - the first 5,000 fans get a red mullet wig, so get there early.

You know, because it's '80s night. Sure.

All photos courtesy of AP

17 comments:

Victor said...

I am so there Wednesday night.

What made tonight's win sweeter was sitting with a Devil's fan, and watching the test msgs roll in as the night wore on...

Teka said...

Hooray Quintin!

(We're never getting him back, are we?)

Shelby said...

GO CAPS! That was a lot of fun to watch...well, the 2nd period was. Congrats also to Laing, who wins for the hockey-est teeth ever.

On a sadder note, I don't think I can't convey how upset I am that I can't make it to the game on Wednesday. I have tickets and everything but I'm busy. OF COURSE. I was totally planning on the jersey with leggings, the side ponytail, everything. Grr.

Christopher said...

I have been waiting to see the Caps play like they played in the second period all season.

I think your post was dead on in all respects. Sadly, a bad Brashear turnover does not surprise me and Olie's failure to squeeze the pads is becoming a habit. Though Olie did have a good game overall.

CapsChick said...

Victor: Every win is sweeter sitting with a fan from the other team, isn't it?

Teka: Sure you are. I love him to bits, but I'm not willing to take him in favor of Gordon or Clark - as soon as one of them gets back, Laing is on his way back to Hershey. I'm 99.9% certain of that.

DMG said...

CC,

Would you take Laing over Bradley at this point? I would

CapsChick said...

Honestly? No. I like what Brads brings to the table and it seems like Boudreau is finding ways to use him.

I will say I wouldn't mind keeping him up here as a healthy scratch, though, because he's a good depth guy - wouldn't hurt to keep him in the press box once Gordo and Clark get back.

Chris & Sarah said...

Actually, I think he (and the organization) would be better served to be sent back down when we have every one healthy again. That way he can still get playing time to keep the game level up, and can be available should anything happen to one of our forwards. Keeping him up as a healthy scratch sitting in the press box would be a waste of talent, and if it was long term would only lead him to wonder if he really was ready for the big time. It's the story of his career so far, but could be the break he needs, if not this year, but maybe next.

Chris & Sarah said...

And unfortunately we're gonna have miss mullet night and watch the game at home on Wednesday. Have to pack and prep for our morning flight back to the great white north.

CapsChick said...

That's true - I guess keeping him here would really be my selfish way of rewarding him for his play, although he would definitely be better served by getting consistent playing time in Hershey.

PaV said...

DC - the boys on the Team1200 were reporting that Ovie turned down the same contract that was signed by Sid the Kid. I only caught the tail end of what they were saying.... but is that true? Do you think Ovie is asking for 10MIL a year? He is a UFA at the end of the year right? Do you think some GM will pull out an insane offer sheet for him? If they do, do you think that the CAPS will match it? Am I asking too many questions? Is the question mark being over used here?

DMG said...

Pav,

OV is a restricted free agent. Rather than re-hash exactly what that means here (it'd be too long), I direct you here

CapsChick said...

Well, Pav is a pretty smart guy so I'm pretty sure he knows what an RFA is...to answer your questions, though, Pav, I could also direct you to MY thoughts on the matter here. :)

Christopher said...

In my (most likely very unpopular) opinion, if Olie was $10mil a year the Caps should trade him. He has not been playing well enough to make $10mil. He is getting older and, while he will make the occasional great save, he has been letting too many easy saves slide between his pads all season. I know he is huge in this town and has done a lot for the community, and it might be easier for me to say this because I am a fairly new resident and Caps fan, but the Caps need to start looking to the future between the pipes.

DMG said...

If Kolzig asks for 10M a year I dont think there'd be any question he's be gone, and no NHL team would pick him up.

PaV said...

DC thanks for the link. I will read it later tonight. I mean to state he was a RFA. And DMG thanks, but RFA is pretty self explanatory. But I am sure yours is a pretty good read; so I will check it out later.

Alright, off to see my angel :P

CapsChick said...

Tell her I said hi! :)