Saturday, October 28, 2006

Caps Barely Get Out Alive

Capitals 2, Canucks 3 OT/SO (0-2)

I’m ba’ack. I know you all missed me, but it is I that has been missing a lot. Bobby Clarke quit and Ken Hitchcock gets the axe. When did that happen? And the Caps win in the Pepsi Center. Maybe I should have been gone for longer, because good things seem to be happening while I am away from civilization.

Okay, okay, back to the game.

It was a horrible start for the Capitals where they only managed one shot in the first period. Lucky for them they came out of Vancouver with one point. A point they didn’t earn. Caps take it to shoot out only to get blanked by Roberto Luongo (again).

The Caps just couldn’t get anything going against the Canucks. It was Vancouver that overall dominated in just about every category and left the Caps to play defense; something they are not equipped to do this season.

The Caps are fine when they play a back and forth game where their offense can keep the opposition’s defense busy. But without a stay-at-home, punishing blue liner, the Caps are vulnerable to high powered offenses and puck-controlling teams like the Canucks.

Olie Kolzig’s play in the last two games has been spectacular. Every time I think that Olie is slipping a little, he comes back with two impressive performances. Brian Sutherby is another Capital that has his stock rising.

There are two ways to beat Luongo, deke him into his butterfly and shoot high or look for the trailing open man. Sutherby found the trailing Alex Ovechkin and that sweet pass tied the game late in the second period.

Overall Grade: F

Even with 2 great goals late in the second the Caps played the whole game on their heels. Vancouver out-played them keeping the puck in the Caps zone for so long that those who had seats in General Motors Place behind Luongo needed binoculars to watch any of the game.

Granted, the Caps could have just taken their sticks home and given up after the first period debacle. They worked hard to get back in the game, but it was Vancouver who was the better team tonight. If they would have shot the puck a little bit more it could have been easily a double digit lead.

Ovechkin and Alex Semin need to watch the diving. Both were given penalties for embellishing a little too much. We don’t want to look like the Penguins. And there is little need for it, no matter the score.

Caps need to pull it together a little better since Colorado’s game. Facing Edmonton tonight will be no picnic. The Western Conference Champions should be a handful for the Capitals and if they play like they did against Vancouver, I doubt they could pull a point out of their hats this time around.

Philadelphia got to see the Caps/Canuck game in their market, but we don’t get to see the Flyers’ games in ours. What’s up with that?

In a side note: Congrats to the St. Louis Cardinals who won the World Series. I owe my dad a pretty penny for taking the Detroit Tigers. Can’t win them all.

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