Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thrashers Clutch Against Caps

Capitals 3, Thrashers 4 F/OT/SO (0-2)

There was a time that I looked forward to the Caps going to the shoot-out. That was until Marian Hossa slapped a rebounder with 0:33 left on the clock to send the game into OT. After the Caps played a gritty second period to take the lead, they then sat back and left Brent Johnson to win it all.

As I was thinking how well the Caps were playing, blocking key shots and thwarting Atlanta challenges. The Thrashers had three straight power plays to start the period, which the Caps were able to kill off. But the it would become more disastrous than previously thought. The Caps had their chances after that but just couldn’t bury the puck and the Thrasers were able to extend the game.

Atlanta pulls the goaltender and it pays off with Hossa, who was left all alone on the right side of Johnson, buries a rebound shot from the point up over the out stretched leg of Johnson. Overtime was all Atlanta. With the tide changed the Caps were lucky to get to the shoot out. I said if they score first and we miss game over. And that is exactly what happened.

Slava Kozlov put a move that shook Johnson to his very core and scored on Atlanta’s first try. Alexander Semin took on Kari Lehtonen only to miss the back hand. I didn’t need to see Hossa bury the puck five-hole on Johnson who had lost all confidence after the first shot. Because Alex Ovechkin has missed the last 6 shoot out shots, and this time he deked himself out. Game over.

Overall Grade: C

Caps get the Russian hattrick, Ovie, Semin, and Dainius Zubrus all scored in the second. Too bad they couldn’t hold that up. The Caps power play (1-5) is again a thorn in the side of Glen Hanlon. He even gave more ice time to Donald Brashear on the power play. But what the Caps really need is to start finishing games.

There seems to be no killer instinct in this team once they have the lead or in the third period at all. When the Caps have momentum, they tend to let up a little. That leads to a ton of shots on net late from trailing teams. Florida may not have been able to come back, but Atlanta did.

Wash Post was there, so they know more. Caps come home Saturday to face the Tampa Lightning. Then it’s hit the road time and takes a western swing while locally we get to watch the Horse Show (Yippee!). The Caps will finish the month of October facing Colorado, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary before returning home in November to face guess who? Atlanta Thrashers. Hopefully they will clean up all the horse manure before then.


Caps Nut said...

I hate to nitpick, but Zubrus is Luthuaian, not Russian. He speaks Rooskie, but he isn't.

Garrett said...

Nit pick, nit pick! Geez! The Former Soviet Union Hattrick is too long to write.