Saturday, March 29, 2008

Panthers Fade Away

Photo courtesy of AP
Just two nights after their second straight nailbiting win, the Caps managed to put together a much more solid, convincing (if not a little bit boring) win - and put the Panthers out of their misery.

It's hard to analyze this one too deeply for a number of reasons. For one thing, this was a very dejected Panthers team that had just dropped two straight and although not mathematically eliminated had been essentially out for the count long before the Caps touched down in Sunrise. For's the Panthers. No matter what the scenario thrilling showdowns between the Caps and Cats are always a little dull.

Huet was once again the strong presence he has become between the pipes, and that save he made in the second period was the impetus for the Caps to wake up a bit and take control of the game once and for all. He faced thirty-two shots but thanks to an inspiring defensive performance by the six blueliners in front of him he saw almost every one. This was truly a team shutout, earned from the net on out.

And then there was the offense. Look no further than big #25 - Viktor Kozlov loves playing the Panthers, doesn't he? His three point performance actually outshines the two points picked up by his Russian linemate for once and he had a great game all around.

Filling in the rest, Mike Green's consistently good play over the last few games finally pays off as he is rewarded with an absolute layup of a goal to bring his total for the season up to 18. Ovechkin adds his 62nd of the season (and his 108th and 109th points of the year...let that sink in a bit) and that would be more than enough for the Caps to finish off a sluggish Panthers team.

Looking around the league...surprise, surprise, we get very little help. Boston took care of the Sens earlier today and the Islanders proved once again why they're on the outside looking in as they blew not one but two leads and eventually fell in the shootout to the Flyers.

From the good news department, however, the Lightning took care of business with the Canes, the game-winner coming off the stick of none other than Jeff Halpern. Looks like he'll stay a fan favorite here in DC for just a little bit longer.

So here's how the Eastern Conference shapes up right now:

3 Carolina 90
4 New Jersey 93
5 Ottawa 92
6 NY Rangers 91
7 Philadelphia 91
8 Boston 90
9 Washington 88
10 Buffalo 84

Amazing. Simply amazing

1 comment:

Steph said...

My favorite favorite part of this game was at the very end when the Panther announcers (um yeah ew, I had to watch their feed) started rambling on about the obnoxious plaid shorts Radek Dvorak wears. Not only was it hysterically funny for ridiculous reasons I cannot even begin to explain, but I just kept thinking, this is what the Panthers have to be excited about right now :P Radek Dvorak's shorts.