Thursday, November 27, 2008

Post-Game: Capitals vs Thrashers

Injuries? What injuries? The Capitals got off to a quick start and never looked back, beating the Atlanta Thrashers 5-3. Alex Ovechkin notched his sixth career hat trick and got help from Eric Fehr and Viktor Kozlov who also scored in front of a sell out crowd at the Verizon Center.

  • Ovechkin capped his sixth career hat trick (three goals on first three shots) in the first minute of the 2nd period. There was about a five minute delay while the Ice Kids picked up the hats that were thrown on the ice. Although I was in throwing range of the rink, I decided to keep my hat (Is there a Man Law against this?). This is the second fastest OV has recorded a hat trick. Last season in Boston, Ovechkin scored three goals...all in the first period.
  • Tomas Fleischmann had an excellent night by picking up two assists, a shot on net, and extended time on the power play (one assist on the power play). Flash's great start has overshadowed another young talent in Eric Fehr. Fehr scored his second goal of the year and picked up four shots on net. His six points (2-4-6) in 11 games this year matches his total last year (1-5-6) that he attained in 23 games. Both players are having success lately but Fehr will most likely return to his "healthy scratch" position when the injured are healed.
  • Viktor Kozlov tallied three points (one goal, two assists) for the first time this year. Koz had three three-point games last season and now eight points in his past seven games. In that same stretch, Fleischmann has seven points (points in three straight).
  • Despite putting up a strong offense, Washington did the little things to win. The Capitals won 28 face-offs losing just 19 and were led by Nicklas Backstrom (8/12), Brooks Laich (8/15), and David Steckel (6/10).
Prospect Analysis

Karl Alzner- Karl's TOI of 21:06 was tops among the call-ups and Capitals 'D' men for that matter. Alzner was his usually self, fundamentally sound, on the back line and looked like he belonged. He was only on the ice for a power play goal by Bryan Little (three goals, two assists in two games versus Washington this year). Hopefully something will happen that will allow Alzner to stick around where he the NHL.

Chris Bourque- Bourque skated 11:42 on the third line with Laich and Matt Bradley, and frankly Chris has had better games. Chris did not have a bad game, but I've seen him play in Hershey and in the pre-season and had high expectations. He excelled at leading the breakout for Washington on multiple shifts and had three shots, but at times he had trouble corralling the puck in the defensive zone and he seemed like he was pushed around more than usual. Chris looked as though he could have done something to prevent Atlanta's last goal by Nathan Oystrick (first of his career), but Bourque was caught flat-footed and did not pick up a man.

Sami Lepisto- Sami was on the ice for 17:18 and paired with Shaone Morrisonn for most of the game. Lepisto picked up his second career assist on (the power play) Ovechkin's first goal. Even though he got on the board, I thought Lepisto could have played better defense. Maybe I'm just being harsh, but there were a few rookie mistakes in the Caps' zone and a few questionable passes. Don't get me wrong, I would take Lepisto over Shultz (or Erskine) any day, but I think nerves were a factor in Lepisto's play.

Graham Mink- Graham was on the fourth line with Steckel and Donald Brashear. Mink took four shots (three in the first few minutes), but was unable to register his first career point yet. Graham played his game, but was not very noticeable on the ice. Be sure to look for updates to his blog on what he thought of the game.

Fast forward to :45 for Fehr's beautiful goal thanks to Fleischmann via Michael Nylander.

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