Thursday, January 24, 2008

Leafs One Ups The Caps

Capitals 2, Maple Leafs 3
Scoresheet - Wash Post - Wash Times

The Caps were victims of bad passing and making it a little too cute at times. The Leafs were able to gum up the neutral zone against the Caps and wait it out. Then in the last 29.2 seconds it was all over on a Mats Sundin rebounder and the Caps see their nice little win streak come to an end.

Alex Ovechkin continued his scoring streak putting some distance in the Rocket Richard award race with 39 goals. Alex Semin also put a wicked move on Vesa Toskala to score late in the third. But the Leafs perseveared even though they were badly outplayed at times. The Caps just weren't themselves this game which was a shame because Olie Kolzig played one of his better games.

The Capitals were 0 for 4 on the powerplay, but was perfect on the penalty kill. John Erskine's hitting picked up with some pretty heavy weight hits. He laid out Darcy Tucker mid way in the first that caught the attention of the fans, then a hit later against Jiri Tlusty in the cornor. Steve Eminger was in the line up again, and looked better even though he took a bad boarding penalty in the first. Tom Poti just couldn't stay out of the box getting a hattrick of penalties, a double minor for cross checking and roughing in the second, and interference call in the third that gave the Leafs some momentum to score with just 30 seconds left.

The second period was horrible for the Caps. They just couldn't pull a comeback this time. That snapped a 4 game winning streak for the Caps. The loss doesn't hurt the Capitals in the standings, they will stay in tenth spot and stay tied with Atlanta. But the Caps will have to play strong against the Leafs again as they round out the home and home before the All Star break. The Caps don't want to leave for vacation with another loss fresh on their minds.

All this and Kris Beech just can't stay away from a Caps uniform. Beech was claimed off waivers for his fourth stint in a Capital's sweater, sorta. I understand we are low on centers, but Beech, really. If we wanted him so bad, why didn't GM George McPhee sign him when he was here? I really don't understand this move, but I am not a NHL General Manager (neither is John Ferguson for that matter). Beech has hardly had time to unpack his bags as he was picked up by the Blue Jackets, then waived and picked up by Vancouver, then is back in the DC area all in this season. Beech won't see much action in the bigs though (unless there is yet another injury), he was sent to Hershey to help bolster the Bears line up. Again, it just doesn't make sense.

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