Sunday, September 23, 2007

Getting It Done In Tampa

I didn't get a chance to see the Caps narrowly escape with a win in Tampa by a 2-1 margin. I say narrowly because looking at the score sheet in the third, the Caps couldn't stay out of the penalty box. The discipline was there in the first and second periods, but the third was meltdown city with 5 penalties (while only 4 in periods 1 & 2).

Who would have ever thought Brent Johnson would have a better Save % than Olie in the preseason? Johnny stopped all of his shots in Carolina, and only allowed a goal in the Tampa game. Johnny faced 19 shots last night and 12 shots against Carolina a week ago. Maybe all this criticism is getting to the net minder. And - it may just be me - Brent Johnson's new mask brings back memories of Don Beaupre with the Capital on the front.

Also we may see Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom combination a bit more, as I can see the rookie playing center with Semin on the wing. Some one to set up one of the hardest shots in the league (and one of the most accurate), you'd think that Glen Hanlon had died and gone to heaven.

I have been noticing that Nick Backstrom has been skating pretty hard over the last month or so with rookie camp and now training camp. There are obvious times the kid looks down right tired. Even if your 19 and feel strong as an ox, this much skating can wear a player down and that leads to injuries. I have full confidence that the coaches know how hard to push Backstrom, but it would be nice for the rookie to get a couple days rest.

Ben Clymer seems like he is playing for a bit more than just a roster spot. A couple of conversations point to the fact that Clymer wants out of DC as it looks like his playing time will surely diminish once the season starts. The two way forward has to prove he can make the roster before he can prove to other teams he's worth a look first, maybe the reason for his good play of late. It's a shame too, I was starting to like him.

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