Wednesday, January 18, 2012
A NO-point night -- Game 44: Islanders 3 - Capitals 0
What is “things that are flat?,” Alex.
One might have watched the Washington Capitals’ 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders last night and asked, “why bother coming to the rink?” One might rationalize this by saying that these things happen, that there will be nights like this, but once more it was a case of doing too little at one end (17 shots on goal, only 14 at even strength), and relying too much on one guy at the other (Tomas Vokoun, 25 saves on 28 shots). Toss in a little “what happened to the penalty kill?”, and it was a recipe for a loss that the Caps might come to regret down the road.
-- In the first three games of the home stand, the Caps had seven goals on 65 shots (10.8 percent shooting). Even had they done that well in this game they would have lost. Averaging 20.5 shots on goal (as they did for this home stand) just will not get things done.
-- To emphasize the point, that makes 15 straight games that the Caps did not top 30 shots (they hit 30 once in that span). Ten times in those 15 games – and in each of their last five – they did not make it to 25 shots on goal.
-- From the “hand in glove” file…eight offensive zone faceoffs. Eight. Nineteen in the defensive zone. Nineteen. The Caps are starting – and spending – too much of the time in the defensive zone.
-- From the “get well at Caps expense file,” PA Parenteau had his first two-goal game of the year, the first multiple-goal game of his career (in his 152nd game), and broke a seven-game streak without a goal.
-- Not really sure who Dmitry Orlov was passing the puck to when he went cross ice just before Parenteau’s first goal. There wasn’t a soul on the other side of the ice.
-- Last night was the first time since December 7th (17 games) that the Caps allowed more than five power plays (they were 4-for-6 on the penalty kill). They have done so four times this season and are 1-3-0 in such games. Here is your penalty killing takeaway. In 16 games in which the Caps have allowed five or more power plays they have a record of 6-9-1 and have killed 65 of 86 shorthanded situations (75.6 percent). In games in which they have allowed fewer than five power play opportunities they have a record of 18-9-1 and have killed off 61 of 69 shorthanded situations (88.4 percent). Practice -- at least within games -- does NOT make perfect.
In the end, call it “one of those games” or the “letdown before the road trip” sort of game, but it was two points the Caps should have and needed to earn. They didn’t. We will see if it does come back to haunt them.