After such a steep and consistent uphill climb it's to be expected that the Caps will occasionally slip up and revert back to their old ways. Tonight was one of those times - they outplayed the Leafs and outworked the Leafs, but every mistake ended up in the back of the net. The Leafs were patient, bided their time and waited for the Caps to mess up...and they did.
Not much to say after a game like this.
Toronto did an excellent job of making it as boring as possible which, while maybe taking the hometown crowd out of it also prevented the Caps from having any flow to their game. It was the kind of game the Leafs needed to play to win and the kind of game that was not conducive to the Caps being the Caps.
Ovechkin's goal does continue his streak and extends his lead over Kovalchuk, but he just wasn't as visible as usual and that whole line was shut down fairly well. At times it seemed like they were backing off a bit too much and not being as physical as they could have been despite the high hit count.
Whether this is a hangover effect from the intensity of Monday's game or not, the whole team looked a little flat albeit with occasional bursts of energy from the usual suspects. Semin in particular was very active, as was Eminger. And Olie actually came up big for the Caps on more than a few occasions - hard to fault him on any of the goals, particularly the one where Morrisonn basically took him out.
That's now the second time one of his defensemen has fallen over him leading to a goal by the way. I'd like it to be the last.
Just kind of a blah game all around - here's hoping they come out with more energy tomorrow night as both teams travel back to the District for the rematch. The Caps won't go into the break with first place in the division, but with a win tomorrow night they can at least pull closer to the idle Canes and more importantly carry some momentum into the break.
So the preview for tomorrow - keep the good stuff, take away the mistakes, the lackluster play and the defensive miscommunication.
...oh, and win! Winning would be good. Yes.