Thursday, October 8, 2009
Nicklas Backstrom. It took Backstrom 17 games last year to get two goals. This season, he beat that record by just a few games. One goal was nice (above), and one goal was a gift (below). Either, or, we'll take 'em as they come.
Tyler Sloan. I was a little iffy on how he would do tonight, but he came out with great energy and played a vital role on the forecheck. He finished with one assist and he is my nomination for getting a jersey for next game.
Brian Pothier. Helluva pass. That cross-ice assist was Backstrom-esque on Semin's first period goal.
Alexander Semin. Another goal scored, but even more opportunities. Semin stayed out of the box and is now tied with Ovechkin (and Mike Richards) for league-lead in goals.
Alex Ovechkin. He put nine shots on net but there was at least one instance where he should have been more selfish. Opting to pass to Chris Clark instead of shooting on Lundqvist from point-blank range was a mistake. Ovechkin knows this, and it should not happen again.
Jose Theodore. It's like night and day for Caps' goalies this season. Maybe Theo was screened a few times, maybe not, but the point is that if the puck is trickling by the goalie and slides across the goal line, it's most likely the goaltender's fault. Let's not start the Neuvirth conversations just yet because there is no point in hitting the panic switch just four games into the season.
Power Play. Nine opportunities with this squad should translate into at least two or three goals and throw in a 5-on-3 advantage and the outcome of this game should have been much different. There is too much talent on the ice for the Capitals to convert only once.
They have a day to re-couperate then it's game time at Joe Louis to face the Wings. The Caps now know where their problems are and it is up to them to fix it before other teams exploit them.