Saturday, October 11, 2008

A NO-point night: Thrashers 7 - Caps 4

Well…there goes 82-0.

The Caps laid a big stinky egg to start the 2008-2009 season tonight, falling behind the Atlanta Thrashers, 3-0, clawing back to 4-4, and then giving up three goals in a 2:10 span late in the third period to beat the Caps, 7-4.

Where to begin…

Nicklas Backstrom. Meet the only Capital not on the ice for a Thrasher goal tonight, and that included both goaltenders.

Tomas Fleischmann. He was on for four goals, tops (so to speak) for the Caps on the evening…in less than ten minutes of play.

Brooks Laich. The only Cap with a winning record on faceoffs (7 of 10). The rest of the Caps were a combined 22 wins, 41 losses.

Jose Theodore. OK, four goals on 17 shots, that was bad enough, but he looked like he was handling the puck with a frying pan out there. Nerves? OK…we’ll by that, for now.

OK, who had the Thrashers getting seven goals, and Ilya Kovalchuk getting none of them (and only two shots on goal, to boot)?

Niclas Havelid is on a pace for 246 assists. That would be a record.

Mike Green didn’t get his second goal until game ten last year. Tonight he had two that were, get this, 52 seconds apart in the second period.

Alex Ovechkin. Did not have a goal, did not have a point, did not lead the team in shots (Mike Green did), had one hit, missed a penalty shot. We’re betting he has better nights.

Zach Bogosian…the fights probably get easier from here on out.

Bryan Little-echkin…two goals, an assist, three points, six shots…in only 14 and a half minutes.

Kari Lehtonen got a star…sounds odd for a guy who gave up four goals, but he was (with the exception of a five minute stretch in the second) the best player on the ice.

More Caps had penalties (nine) than had points (eight).

The Caps, as of right now, have given up more goals than any other team…and keep in mind, the Rangers have already played three games (four goals allowed).

Don’t you just want to slap this guy?

As for the Caps, it was a strange night. At times, they looked as if they could score at will (and but for a fine performance by Lehtonen, probably would have). At other times, they looked like they couldn’t defend against air. The goaltending was, to be charitable, awful. One doesn’t expect two guys with a combined 670 games of NHL experience to look scared (in the case of Theodore) or unfocused (Johnson, at times) on a season’s opening night. Not that they had much help. When 17 of 18 skaters are on the ice for at least one goal from the opposition, it is a team-wide breakdown. So don’t single out Tomas Fleischmann for his on-ice-for-four-goals night (although we already did); and don’t single out Milan Jurcina or Jeff Schultz, both a -2 for the defense (although we just did), and don’t single out David Steckel for being on the ice for three goals and having a rough night in the circle with losing nine of 15 draws (although there we go again).

Except for a five minute stretch in the second period, when the Caps scored three goals, they generally stunk up the joint, but in a perverse way it was a good thing. Despite all of the negatives described here, they were tied with six minutes left in the game. Sure, it was against a bad team, but the Caps have picked up where they left off last year in that no opposing lead is safe.

Trouble is, they gave it back just as fast tonight…let it not be a trend.


CapsKremlin said...

The good: When OV doesn't show up, Green and Semin will.

The bad: The goalie's didn't show up and overall, it was a sloppy game.

For ten minutes the Capitals dominated the Thrashers, and then it fell apart.

I like your point that no lead is safe, it held true tonight. Sadly we just didn't show up to put ourselves over the lead.

Oh and OV on the Penalty Shot when he's 0-3? I woulda gone with Kozlov or Semin. Ovie was frustrated tonight and it showed, and when he has bad games, he usually follows them with good ones.

alja said...

Why Ovechkin and not Kozlov on the penalty shot? That might have taken the wind out of the Thrashers and ended the night. I understand trying to get Ovie going, but still, it's the goal that counts, and Kozlov is far better at penalties. It seems like a poor decision with disastrous consequences.

Lisa said...

Stuck somewhere with no TV and my Blackberry on auto-refresh with the box score. I couldn't believe my eyes when the score changed every minute over that short span of the 3rd period. Yikes! And after tying it up no less. As you pointed out, the entire team participated in this train wreck so hopefully we'll see a pissed off version of the Caps tonight. That, and some NHL quality goaltending would be good.