Friday, October 06, 2006

New Season, Same Result

Capitals 2, Rangers 5

It was Brendan Shanahan’s night. The former Red Winger, now in the Big Apple, future Hall of Famer Shanahan scored his 600th goal as the Rangers win their home opener against the Caps.

The Capitals had plenty of opportunities to keep the game close. However, the Caps looked slow, sloppy and stunned. The speedy forwards looked engulfed in Ranger blue. And again, like a broken record, the Caps defense doesn’t look up for the job.

It’s obvious that the direction the Capitals are heading is total offense domination. That leaves goaltender Olie Kolzig high and dry. I saw just about every defensemen pinch in too far, and on several occasions getting in trouble the other way with Ranger odd-man rushes.

But defense was the only problem. There just seemed like there was no chemistry with anyone. Passes were intercepted, or off mark or not made. Most of the reasons for those odd-man rushes were from bad passes.

Power-play looked sloppy for that reason. The Caps looked like they were always diving and chopping for the puck. Instead of using their legs, they are diving out of position or worse, just giving up on the play. Caps had some key power plays where they could have turned the tide, but didn’t capitalize.

Overall Grade: D

Alex scored. The other Alex, Alex Semin. Rico Fata also added a tally for the Capitals. Wash Post has all the details. Capitals must regroup for their home opener on Saturday night. They will be playing the defending Cup Champions Carolina Hurricanes. If the Caps play like they did against the Rangers, it’s going to be a long night in a semi-full building.

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