Thursday, September 18, 2008

A TWO-Point Afternoon: Caps 7 - Flyers 0

Rookie camp closed on a high note this afternoon as the Capitals’ prospects demolished the Flyers’ youngsters, 7-0, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. It was a standing room only crowd at the rink, and they were in – if not mid-season form – then suitably hostile toward the visitors. As for the game…


Three Men and a Donut…

The Caps got all three goalies into the game, Simeon Varlamov getting the start, Braden Holtby picking things up in the second, and Michal Neuvirth locking the door on the shutout. The three are very different in their approaches. Varlamov was sharp, albeit with relatively few shots faced. But he made arguably the most important save in the game, foiling a Flyer breakaway about eight minutes into the period. Holtby gets marks for putting up with the Flyers trying to run him on a number of occasions. He probably faced fewer shots than did Varlamov, so his focus was tested. Neuvirth came in and relied on his superior technical game to keep the Flyers off the scoresheet, despite more scoring chances against him than the other two goalies combined. In all, all three played well.
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Viktor Dovgan’s a Keeper…

He wasn’t the best defenseman on the ice for the Caps (that would have been Karl Alzner) or perhaps the second best (John Carlson had a pretty good game), but Viktor Dovgan looks like he has a future with the club. He was up to the physical assault brought by the Flyers. Late in the first, a scrum developed behind the Caps’ net. Viktor Dovgan circled in and got up into a Flyer’s face, egging him to “come on!...come on!” He then got into a full scale knuckle trade behind the Flyers’ net in the second after Hotby had been run (I had him winning the decision on my card). He wasn’t backing down anywhere on the ice.
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Lines…

Mathieu Perreault looked to have recovered from his adventure in Herbies on Day 1. He, Francois Bouchard, and Steve Pinizzotto were dominant just about every time they skated together on the ice. It was the rare shift when they didn’t have a decent chance. All three lit the lamp in this one. The Osala-Beagle-Kugryshev line showed a lot of hustle, keeping the Flyers penned in much of the time and tilting the ice toward the Flyer net. The Morin-Leffler-Lacroix line had three goals, two of them by Travis Morin.
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Speed…

In a way, it was like watching the same game at two different speeds – one speed being Flyer speed, the other being Caps speed. It was like watching a Ferrari driving around a rider lawn mower. And, this group of Caps – for not being together very long – showed a fine passing game in the neutral zone and in entering the offensive zone. Truth be told, though, this group of Flyer hopefuls didn’t impress, except…
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March!...

In their ability to find their way to the penalty box. I stopped counting at half a dozen penalties the Flyers took, and that was in the first period. They had to have a dozen. What was nice was seeing the kids make them pay by potting power play goals.
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Loaded…

Looking at this group of Caps, one has the feeling that the Hershey Bears are going to be absolutely loaded this year. A group of kids that could include Francois Bouchard, Mathieu Perreault, Karl Alzner (if he’s not with the club on opening night), Steve Pinizzotto, Jay Beagle, Maxime Lacroix, and one or both of the young goalies, added to the returning vets at Hershey, and the Bears might be a favorite to win another Calder Cup.
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We also have some pics from the ritual slaying…


Varlamov getting the start



Some brotherly shove



Get used to it, son...you're going to see a lot of Caps buzzing in your face

Viktor Dovgan and Josh Beaulieu go at it



Won't be long now...



Told ya...


...and another one finds the back of the net


Jay Beagle misses on a penalty shot



...but there is a happy ending, anyway


and the youngsters rejoice

3 comments:

Flying Cloud said...

Thanks for that, Peerless, well done. We got there early and were lucky to get the last two seats left in the place. It was very impressive to see the regular Caps in street clothes watching from the far corner, and the rest of the organization up on the balconies. Best of all, the child sitting next to me was so into it. Summer is over at long last -- Let the games begin!

billy said...

Well I happen to disagree with you Godfrey was the best D. I don't know what game you were watching but I didn't see Alzner do anything special. Carlson played well too. I think alot of fans have their heads so far up Alzners butt that they can't see the forest for the trees.

The Peerless said...

Godfrey had a fine game. In fact, it would be hard to claim any Cap in that game had a poor one. The boys played their roles very well.