Friday, November 18, 2005

Eight Steps Back

Capitals 5, Sabres 8

There is a game I would like to forget. Key breakdowns in defense and penalties led the Capitals to their demise. And Brett Johnson couldn’t keep anything from his 5 hole going in. It is not all Johnson’s fault though.

After 6 hard fought games the Capitals took one step forward, but 8 steps back. Penalties and special teams again have plagued the young team. Even when the Caps could get the scoring going late in the second with 3 straight goals, it was just too much of a lead to overcome. Too many times I saw defensemen playing the puck and not the man, or they would collapse on one player leaving open Buffalo players in the slot.

The Caps explosive offense means nothing without sound defense. The Capitals do not start their three game road trip on a good foot. Now their next two road games will be more difficult with a big loss to start.

Overall Grade: D-

I love the Caps never say die attitude, but it has to be backed up with some defense. Alex Ovechkin looks like he is starting to find the cracks in the NHL defensive armor. It’s getting even more exciting to watch him play.

Let’s hope the Brendan Witt’s frustration ends in Buffalo. His play needs to be more disciplined and controlled. I know he wants to be a bruiser, but he has to use his experience for something rather than being a goon.

Wash Post covers the game in detail. They also talk about my prediction for this team all along, close wins and big losses. It’s the story we will be hearing from the Capitals all season long.

Caps play the red hot Canadiens on Saturday. Let’s hope the Capitals can once again learn from their losses.

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