Saturday, January 10, 2009

A NO-point night: Blue Jackets 3 - Caps 0

What?...You thought they’d go 39-1-1 at home? The Caps lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets last night, 3-0. Why?

The rest is just details…

There is a difference between the way a game is played and the results of a game. If the Caps play a game like that against most teams, they will do very well. It can’t be underestimated the effect Steve Mason had on the outcome.

Alex Ovechkin had 24 attempts in 28 minutes, many of them excellent scoring chances. The odd part about that statistic was that he had eight attempts in each of the three periods. It gets better…in each period, four shots, two blocks, two misses. Russian machine, indeed.

One had the feeling watching last night that there was this posted in the referee’s locker room:

Tonight’s Special:

Tossing Players from the Faceoff Circle

Jose Theodore did not have a poor game, just a very average one. A rebound that got away, a deflection, and a scrum in front. But it stood in such stark relief against what was going on at the other end that it had the look of a poor game.

The Caps played short a forward all night as Boyd Gordon’s back seized up on him before the game, but apparently after lineups had been presented. Add to that Chris Clark skating one shift in the third period and Donald Brashear the same, and it made for a pretty short bench.

Saw a lot of baseball analogies in this one…the Caps were the hitter hitting line drives all over the park and having all of them caught. The Blue Jackets were that junk pitcher who lobs a lot of stuff at you, only to have you muttering as you go back to the dugout, “he got me out with that?!”

There are just some nights you’re not going to have it. That wasn’t the problem for the Caps last night. They did the right things, for the most part – put a lot of rubber on goal, sent guys to the net, played the game more or less in the Columbus end (on that…it was interesting to watch the kids come out to shovel off the snow…a few flakes in the end defended by the Caps, snow drifts in the Columbus end). They played well enough, it was the result that was unfortunate.

On to Montreal.

1 comment:

Nation's Capital said...

What was the deal with the "second" linesman tossing guys out of the circle? It happened several times, and I was trying to make sense of it.