This is one of those games were there was no respect given to the young Caps. The Rangers took it upon themselves to teach this young group a leasson and the refs just looked the other way. A couple of checks from behind, a few cheap shots on Capitals and the officiating crew just let things get out of control.
Donald Brashear had been playing good solid defensive hockey over the last couple of games. That gave Glen Hanlon the opportunity to put him on the checking line against the number one line of the Rangers last night. As the Rangers took liberties of a depleted Caps team Brashear started standing up for his players. When he took a shot at Jaromir Jagr, Jagr dumped him getting two minutes for being an idiot. Brendan Shannahan's fight with Brashear was more of theatrics than anything else. Aaron Ward said something to Brashear after the fight which caused him to sucker punch him on the way to the penalty box. Brashear lost his cool a little bit, and should not have done that, it caused his ejection.
With Brashear out of the line up, it got worse for the Caps. Colton Orr took it upon himself to take a run at Alex Ovechkin (run is too nice of a word, he all out wanted to hurt the Caps' star). All he was going to get for his high check was a minor for charging. Are you kidding me? It's an obvious shot at Ovie with our enforcer in the locker room. Shaone Morrisonn came to the rescue and fought with Orr. Dan Marouelli and Kevin Pollock let this game get to this point. I don't think this crew will be officiating the Stanley Cup Finals anytime soon.
With that said, the Caps didn't play that bad of a game. There were a few missed opportunities and the Rangers took advantage of some defensive break downs. The Rangers were due for some offense, the Caps were just trying to get through a game healthy. Ben Clymer scored the only Caps goal off a pretty pass from Lawerence Nycholat which broke Clymer loose on a breakaway.
Overall Grade: C-
The Caps are just not 100% and obviously don't have the depth to cover for injured players. The Caps don't have much time to get healthy as they face the Coyotes on a New Years Day show down.
Nycholat is having a good stretch on the big squad since being called up from Hershey. He has one goal and three assists in five games for the Capitals. He is making a strong case for staying in a Caps sweater in the coming years.