The Peerless is a bit under the weather, so Cheerless is going to weigh in with a few observations from the Washington Capitals’ 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers last night...
-- That Jagr is somethin’, isn’t he? Just 21 seconds in, and he went all “Penguins” on the Caps, knocking a puck out of mid-air past Philipp Grubauer. He’s got 31 career goals against the Caps now. That’s second among active players. Vincent Lecavalier has 35 against Washington.
-- And maybe I’m just all wrong about this, but wasn’t Grubauer supposed to be an upgrade from Justin Peters as the backup goalie? That’s three games in four that he’s allowed three or more goals, and he’s got a goals against average of 2.79 and a save percentage is .896. Okay, he is an upgrade (Peters was 2.98/.882 after five games last season), and not all goals are goalies’ fault (like that Jagr one or the 2-on-1 that Aaron Ekblad scored on), but is he all that much of one right now?
-- Six power plays against? That’s five or more in two of their last three games. Maybe not a coincidence, but they also allowed power plays in those two games. Frankly, the PK leaves something to be desired these days. It’s 20-for-25 in the last nine games. Not bad (80.0 percent), but not the top-five group it was a little while ago, either.
-- Tom Wilson had no penalty minutes in his first six games this season and only eight in his first 12 games. With 15 minutes last night (and is there a call from the league coming?), he has 50 PIMs in his last 15 games. He is now fourth in the league in penalty minutes. Not sure this is the chart he should be climbing.
-- And speaking of penalties…Alex Ovechkin – two penalties, one hit. Odd result. At least he didn’t get hit for ticky-tack calls. A high-sticking and a cross-checking.
-- Ovechkin did have a goal, so there is that. And he’s been doing it in “two turtle doves” style. He had goals in consectuve games on November 19th and 21st, goals in consecutive games on November 25th and 27th, and now goals in consecutive games on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. He’s up to seventh in the league in goals, now (14).
-- It’s not as if they made Al Montoya work for his win in goal for the Panthers. The Caps had just 21 shots on goal, only four in the last 20:57 of the game. More than half of them came from Ovechkin (5), Evgeny Kuznetsov (4) and T.J. Oshie (3). Five of the forwards (Jason Chimera, Tom Wilson, Michael Latta, Jay Beagle, and Marcus Johansson) had none. Geez, guys…even the new guy, Chris Brown, had a shot on goal, and he played less than eight minutes.
-- Chimera and Taylor Chorney were the only Caps not credited with a hit. Angry hockey is apparently not successful hockey.
-- That was the first time in more than a month that the Caps allowed four or more goals. They had gone 15 straight games not doing so since they lost a 5-2 decision to the New York Rangers back on November 3rd.
-- The power play was 0-for-5. That is the first time this season that the Caps had five or more power plays and failed to convert any of them.
As Peerless might say, in the end… they stunk. The dads deserved better. But hey, not every game is moonshine and moonbeams.