Thursday, April 16, 2009

Post-Game: Capitals vs Rangers

A disappointing and somewhat predictable Game 1 leave the Capitals in a must-win scenario Saturday afternoon. Here are some post-game observations:

  • Jose Theodore did what some thought he would and lost the game for the Caps. Jose allowed three goals on 11 shots in the second period, all were momentum-killers. One came 1:09 after Washington took the lead, the other two came back-to-back in under two minutes of each other.
  • Jeff Schultz...Tisk, tisk. I like to be as optimistic as I can when dissecting his game, but there was certainly nothing to like about Brandon Dubinsky doing his best Nate Robinson impression on poor old Schultz.
  • Sean Avery is a prick...but you knew that.
  • Really? penalty on Avery for shoving Mike Green back into the Rangers' bench when the puck is nowhere in sight? Or how about when Avery tripped Green on the blueline giving Scott Gomez a clear path on net? Or Nik Antropov running over Tomas Fleischmann on that same play when the puck is 50 feet away? The refs blew a few soft calls in favor of the Caps, but swalling the whistle for the rest of the game is just flat out not fair.
There were a few bright spots for the Capitals last night:
  • Congrats to Fleischmann and Viktor Kozlov for scoring their first career playoff goals.
  • Nicklas Backstrom has a five-game point streak dating back to Game 4 against the Flyers. Backstrom's assist to Kozlov pulled the Caps to within one goal with :49 seconds left in the second period.
  • Matt Bradley made the most of his 7:01, throwing his body around as seen here at the :15 second mark. The longer the series goes on, the more the Caps will need his physical style of play.
  • Alex Ovechkin had an MVP-calibr performance. Two assists, 13 shots, and six hits in just over 26 minutes was what the Capitals needed. If Henrik Lundqvist wasn't ridiculously good, this game could have gone to the Caps.
  • The Capitals dominated the face-off circle, winning 70% (46/66) of the draws. They were led by Boyd Gordon (4/5, 80%) and Backstrom (13/18, 72%). It should be noted that the Caps went 19/21 (90%) on neutral zone draws. Sergei Fedorov led the team in the neutral zone, winning 10/12 (83%) draws.
  • This game did not go to Overtime, therefore Green does not need 30:47 minutes of ice time. When Bruce Boudreau gets desperate, he leaves Greenie out there, which just tires him out even more. He did have two assists, but the 25-28 time-on-ice mark should be the amount Green should receive.
There are still a few lingering questions that Boudreau and his staff need to figure out by Game 2:

Which forward should get a jersey: Gordon, Donald Brashear, or even Chris Clark?

Who is the odd man out on the blue line: John Erskine, Milan Jurcina, or Brian Pothier?

Who to start in net: Simeon Varlamov or Jose ThreeOrMore?

BallHype: hype it up!

1 comment:

richard said...

i say Varlamov, might as well see what he can do in the playoffs.