Friday, March 02, 2007

After-Math . . . Caps vs. Lightning

It’s a one-point night, campers.

Well, it coulda been better, it coulda been worse. If the Caps were in the playoff hunt, it would have been infuriating. Where to start . . .

- The Caps didn’t record a shot for the first 8:25, then they scored on their first shot.

- The Caps recorded six shots in the first 30 minutes, then they had seven shots in four minutes and scored two goals.

- Milan Jurcina and Vaclav Prospal locked up as they were skating into the Olympia Corner…Jurcina didn’t just check Prospal into the boards, he exploded into him. Anyone who has ever hit a blocking dummy in football drills would appreciate that hit. It was all leverage.

- Dear sweet God in heaven, the Caps need a freakin’ center (and no, Dainius Zubrus was not what The Peerless had in mind). It is depressing to have to watch Alexander Ovechkin (or Alexander Semin) have to carry the mail, open the mail, read the mail, and send a reply every time the Caps have the puck. Can’t anyone on this team make a move and a pass to either of these guys in space?...apparently not.

- Brent Johnson’s game was a microcosm of his season. Stretches of inspiring effort followed by inexplicable brain farts. The Peerless especially loved (he said tongue-in-cheek) the one where the puck was bounced off the end boards, and Johnson lollygagged his way back to the crease just before the puck would have hit him in the skate and trickled in. You want to cut that any closer, big guy? We’re guessing he wants that Fedotenko goal back, too.

- Nothing symbolizes the Nu NHL more than a back and forth game, an overtime with three power plays (one carrying over from the end of regulation) and a shootout decided by a guy with a name that sounds like an extra (“Cop #3”) from West Side Story who had never so much as taken a shootout attempt in his career. The Peerless wanted to retch.

- The Peerless would like to know . . . how is it that a team captain gets all of 9:03 of playing time?

- Goat and Horn Guy were in playoff form tonight.

- Kiss Cam sucks. No, really . . . it really, really sucks.

- The thin margin of error – three posts hit in the third period and overtime.

- Jurcina took two penalties, both apparently for being 6’4”.

The Caps played well in spots; they played atrociously in spots. That’s been their season. It will probably continue to be their season. It is a young team, perhaps about to get younger with possible injuries to Matt Pettinger (apparently too injured to participate in the shootout) and Boyd Gordon. The last 17 games are essentially the equivalent of Redskin mini-camp. The club will get a look-see at the hand they hold and get a better idea of what holes they have to fill beyond the obvious subjects (center, right wing, defenseman). Hey, keep your chins up, campers . . . it’s not like it’s 1975.


b.orr4 said...

Isn't it funny hiw as soon as Zubrus leaves, Ovechkin starts looking like the Ovechkin of last season. If the Caps resign Zubrus (something I'm not advocating)it better be as a winger ot thrid line center,

The Peerless said...

Zubrus was always a bad fit as the top line center, and that is not his fault. It was the product of circumstance, the Capitals having no alternative once the great purge began and progressed.

I would not be averse to his returning to DC, but now it pretty much has to be on the Caps' terms. I don't think he is going to get a better deal than the four-year deal he reportedly was offered to remain.

As a checking winger, he can be an effective tool -- he can (which is not to say "will") provide a bit more offense than we might normally expect there. But he is not a top-six forward on a high-end team -- he lacks the finishing skills to be a scoring winger (his production with Ovechkin aside), and he doesn't really have the vision and anticipation sense of a top-two line center.

It will be very interesting to see how his production plays out in Buffalo.

Smitty said...

I would kill to see what sort of output Ovechkin could have if he had a true top line playmaking center that drives the offensive zone the same way that he does.

Hope I won't have to wait too long...

*nudges George*