Friday, October 14, 2005

Caps Fall Again

Capitals 3, Islanders 5

In the first period it looked like it was going to be another blow out. I had some work to do late in my office and ended up hearing the first 4 goals on 570 AM. The Islanders dominated the first period, which used to be the Capitals strong point in their previous 3 games. But the Caps battled back to make it 3-2 with goals by Steve Eminger and Matt Bradley. Unfortunatly the Islanders battled back themselves early in the third.

Goaltender back-up Brent Johnson was in goal for the Caps and look shakey in the first period, but then settled down to make some good saves. The Capitals Defense again failed to show any sign of improving as Johnson faced 49 shots, making 44 saves. Johnson still had his red pads and the Coyotes logo on his helmet with a small Caps sticker on the chin. It was a cute look with the black and bronze jerseys the Caps wear.

Ovechkin continues his point streak to six games with an assist. After the Game, the Caps held a players only meeting, obviously frustrated with their season start.

Overall Grade: D-

I thought the Caps deserved something better for never quitting. Even down 5-2, the Caps pushed in the Third to make something happen and Bradley's second goal electrified the Caps strength: Aggresive forechecking. But the Defense core will be (and is) the overwhelming factor this season. I would start considering spending a little and getting 2 veteran defenseman.

The Crowd was very small at the MCI Center. As I watch the rest of the game at home my wife jokes, "Does DC have a hockey team?" I did my best Waterboy impression, "Oh, We suck agian!!"

Wash Post covers the game, and Eminger stated the obvious:

"I definitely don't think it's effort, it's bearing down and executing the game plan," Eminger said. "You can blame it on age. But we're all in the NHL and we're here for a reason, so we know how to play the game. It's concentrating for the full 60 minutes. We aren't doing that."

The whole game is 60 minutes, so you should play for that long too.

Caps have a couple days off, which I assume they will use to work on what to fix. The Caps face Stanley Cup Champions Tampa Bay Lightening on Sunday at 6 pm. A Sunday game should bring out a few fans to the MCI Center.

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