Well . . . what to think of a 4-3 shootout loss in which the good guys came back from a 2-0 hole, but gave up a late goal to tie things in regulation . . .
Good Cop . . . Bad Cop:
Well, the Caps were on the back-end of a back-to-back, on the road; the Thrashers had five days of rest . . . The Caps are young, and the season just got started; don’t be giving me that “tired” nonsense.
The Caps were playing their backup goalie, the Thrashers their top netminder . . . Johnson has played well in his recent action with the Caps; it’s not as if he’s chopped mackerel out there.
The Caps clawed back from a 2-0 hole to get a lead . . . they gave up the tying goal with 33 seconds left – barely a shift’s worth of time. The game is 60 minutes, not 59:27.
The Caps earned a division point, on the road . . . they let a division point get away.
The Caps are 2-1-3; at this point last year, they were 2-4 and had already given up 31 goals . . . The Caps are 2-4 -- same won-loss record as this time last year.
Alexander Ovechkin went 1-1-2, +2; he’s 3-3-6, +2 (+6 in his last five games since Chris Clark was returned to the top line -- at a comparable point last year, he was 4-3-7, -1) . . . Ovechkin is oh-for-seven on his last six shootout tries and looks as if he doesn’t have an answer out there.
Alexander Semin went 1-0-1, even, to raise his line to 7-2-9, +5 . . . Richard Zednik was 0-0-0, -1 to lower his line to 0-2-2, -2 . . . he’s been pointless in five of six games (“pointless” might be interpreted in a variety of ways).
Brent Johnson turned away 40 of 43 shots (.930) . . . he didn’t turn away the last one in regulation, and none of what he faced in the shootout (that’s two SO losses in a row).
The Caps have points in five straight games (2-0-3) . . . they haven’t won an OT/SO game in three tries.
The Caps are in eighth place in the conference (would you rather be the Flyers? . . . they’re 15th this morning) . . . If they'd held onto the lead and split the other two OT games, they'd be tied with Jersey for third in the conference.
The Caps are 2-0-2 against the divison, 16GF, 12GA; at this time last year after four divisional games they were 1-3, 9GF, 24GA . . . uh, well, er, um . . . yeah, I guess.
As I see it, this is a game the Caps would have lost outright last year. After they fell behind 2-0 on the road, they'd have been lucky if the gates didn't burst open. This year, they scratched back, and I'm betting that they're pretty annoyed they didn't get that second standings point. And that, dear reader, is a good thing, too.
-- The Peerless