Thursday, February 22, 2007

Capitals Win First Period

Capitals 2, Sharks 3 OT/SO(1-2)
ScoresheetWash PostMercury

Too bad they thought that one period was enough. I am speechless. One of the best starts of the year, the Caps jump out to a two goal lead, and just stopped playing. Quotes:

“Long term I think it makes you stronger, I think it makes you delve into what makes you play well. There are very few players in the NHL that go from start to finish in their careers without a little bit of a stall, especially offensive guys.” – Glen Hanlon on Alex Ovechkin’s slump.

“We've been struggling of late, so it was nice to see that when we got behind the eight ball there, we showed a lot of guts coming back. We stuck with
it and got two points, and that's huge for us right now” – Sharks’ Scott Hannan.

“I want to score goals. We're disappointed. We play against a great team, and we can't win. The second penalty in the third period was a killer for us.” – Ovechkin.

“All he needed was to stop one and feel good about himself.” – Sharks’ head coach Ron Wilson speaking about his goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

“We're playing better. But we're not getting the wins. We're just falling
a goal short.” – Brent Johnson.

“Shootouts are always a roll of the dice.” – Nabokov (not against the Capitals this season, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion).

“We're a pretty positive group. Focus on the positives. We keep on trying to emphasize the things that we do well. We keep on correcting mistakes. It's a group that works hard. They've got great leadership in there.” – Glen Hanlon.

The Capitals are not the New Jersey Devils, you can’t expect them to get an early lead and play defense for the rest of the game. I have a feeling that the “trap” defense is going to be a killer for the Capitals.

When you play the trap, it does not allow your offensive players to do what they do, because they cannot be out of position, ever. Ovechkin’s best goals came from when he wasn’t necessarily playing the trap. Ovie needs to be Ovie, not a defender.

Olaf Kolzig may be out for the season. In an interview with Comcast Sportsnet, the Caps’ net minder mentioned that if the Caps were in the hunt for the playoffs, he would be there in net 100%. But it wasn’t worth re-injuring his knee in the last two weeks of the season for games that don’t mean anything. Uh-oh.

Speaking of the Devils, Caps play the trap-masters themselves in a home and home stretch this weekend.

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