Thursday, October 1, 2009

Capitals-Bruins Winners & Losers

First off, realize that this post-game format is a cheap imitation of Mr.Irrelevant's Winners & Losers.

Dap given, now let's get on to the Capitals' impressive 4-1 win:


Jose Theodore
. Theo circa 2002 showed up for tonight's game and displayed tremendous poise throughout the game. In some games last year, Jose looked rattled and uncomfortable between the pipes. But tonight, his composure was where it should be... at an NHL level. It's like the cliché goes, 'Competition makes everyone better'.

Brooks Laich. Dating back to March 27th last season, Laich has picked up 18 points (8+10) over the span of 21 games. Laich notched his sixth career two-goal game with both goals coming on the doorstep with the man advantage.

Alex Ovechkin. In four of his first five seasons, Ovechkin has picked up a two-goal game in either the first game or second game of the season. Two goals isn't too shabby for just five shots on goal. The Backstrom-to-Semin-to-Ovechkin passing exhibition that set-up Alex's first goal was a thing of beauty. If only every team gave Ovechkin a 10-foot buffer zone to pick his corner.

Nicklas Backstrom. Nicky B. is going to make a killing by feeding Ovechkin and company. It took Backstrom eight games last season to reach three assists, something he did for the 10th time in his short career. Offense aside, 3/8 (38%) on face-offs is unacceptable.

Special Teams. 2/4 with the extra man is great, but killing off all five Boston power plays is even more impressive. Boston was ranked 5th last year in PP efficiency and we should be thankful to have guys like David Steckel and Quintin Laing on the PK.

Face-Offs. 61% (30/49) will work every night. Backstrom was the only Capital with a sub-60% efficiency. Other than Nicklas, here's how the other guys fared:

Brendan Morrison - 8/11 (73%)

Boyd Gordon - 5/7 (71%)

David Steckel - 11/18 (61%)

Brooks Laich - 3/5 (60%)


John Erskine
. He dropped the mitts when he had to and got in some good jabs in a fight that ultimately ended in a draw.

Boyd Kane
. Earlier, Bruce Boudreau said of Kane: "You're asking a guy to play the best nine minutes he can." Well, Kane finished with 9:12 of TOI and was completely unnoticeable...Meaning he had a fantastic game. Somewhat of a pleasant surprise for the 48th most valuable Cap.

New Additions. Even though they were the only two forwards on the first two lines not to pick up a point, Mike Knuble and Brendan Morrison both had solid games. I did not see Knuble as much as I thought I would, but when I did see him, he was right in Tim Thomas' grill. B-Mo also played a sound offensive game, and only lost three draws the whole night.

Possession. It might have been me, but there were times when it looked like Boston controlled the tempo and play in the Caps' zone. Most noticeably during the first five minutes of the game and right after Patrice Bergeron scored. The Caps were playing good defense and were not allowing many quality shots during these short segments, but the more time spent chasing the puck, the more likely something bad will come of it. Other than this, I could not really find anything to include below...


. For not being a part of my cable package and for not showing more Junior Seau, the Capitals new equipment manager. It's actually for his new TV show, but ya'll knew that.

Notable Stats:

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