Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pothier Pots Winner

Another day, another one goal win - and boy, does it feel good to say that.

So what have we learned?

We learned that the Caps continue to prefer allowing the first goal of the game - although we don't know why. We learned that Vinny Lecavalier really, really likes to score on the Caps. We learned that Dave Steckel really, really likes to score on the Lightning. And we learned that our goalies are trying to give us a collective ulcer.

You never go into a road game expecting it to be pretty - in fact, being a fan of the road team means you don't want it to be pretty. An ugly game means our team is shutting down the home team, mucking up the neutral zone and basically taking the home team out of it. This was not a pretty game. And so we get another two points in a hard-fought battle.

Some thoughts:

- Eight turnovers by the Caps tonight - that's a dramatic improvement over the last few games and back down to where it should be. However...Mike Green had two of them. Growing pains associated with learning the ropes as a full-fledged NHL defenseman, sure, but it will be better for all of us if he can hold on to the puck a bit more.

- Michael Nylander was a +1. When was the last time you saw Nylander not in the minus column, regardless of the outcome?

- Brian Pothier had the game-winning goal, an assist and three shots in just over sixteen minutes of ice time. Now that's what I call bouncing back. He also played a pretty decent game in his own end, which is just as important and yet so often overlooked.

- The first goal of the game was a very soft goal for Johnny to let in. Please oh please do not start up this racket that the Caps need new goalies to win games, though. Are they playing like Vezina candidates right now? Maybe not. But if the Caps can put up enough goals and Olie and Johnny make enough big saves the trophies matter very little. And let's not forget that the Vezina candidates from last season aren't exactly playing that way right now, either.

- If Alex Ovechkin takes one more stick to the face he will no longer resemble his roster picture.

- Tomas Fleischmann's goal was a gritty, picking up the trash kind of goal - the second time in the last handful of games that he has parked himself in front of the net and refused to be moved until the puck crossed the line. I think we all can agree that's progress for Flash.

- Pettinger's pass from behind the net was a thing of beauty, as was Pothier's finish. It's so nice to see that play working for us and not against us lately...

- I never get tired of watching Ovechkin, Semin, Nylander, Kozlov, or Green stickhandle around the opposition. I do get tired of seeing them stickhandle around the opposition only to turn over the puck immediately after.

- Ovechkin had kind of a rough night - and by rough night I mean he was a -2 and took a stick across the face. And yet he fired 13 shots towards Holmqvist, 7 of which got through. If he can have that kind of night and the team can still win? I like where we're going.

- Every game Semin looks a little closer to 100%...and we can tell because he not only registered four shots on goal and picked up an assist, but he also took a hooking minor. That's our little Alex 2.0.

- Minnesota held on to defeat the LA Kings last night. Why should we care? Because for the first time since November 9, the Caps are not dead last in the NHL. They're still 29th, let's not get ahead of ourselves, steps.

All photos courtesy of AP


Shelby said...

We're not last! GO CAPS!

In all reality, though, what I managed to catch was an enjoyable game and an exciting win. A bit of a sigh of relief.

Also, I agree about Ovie. The poor kid's gonna have Laing's teeth here in the very near future. I'm thinking Syd needs a few sticks to the face. He's still too pretty. What's Ovie been doing, karma wise, that Syd hasn't?

Chris & Sarah said...

It sounded like a good game. Had to make do listening to the on-line broadcast.

As for Sid, I think it's because he's too fragile to take anyone into the boards to get his face injured.

There was a Soprano's character that had a good nickname that applies to Sid justa as well, but I'll be damned if I can remember what it was.... ;D

Marsha said...

Yeah, my Bolts boys (or what's left of them) tend to make Steckel look like a superstar (sigh).