Thursday, February 19, 2009

Talk Of The League

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

I missed the game and had to watch the replay today on Comcast Sportsnet to get to see the latest Alex Ovechkin marvel. Since this recap is a day late and a dollar short, it's better just to give a few of my thoughts on the game:
  • Habs' player Roman Hamrlik had a rough game, not only being the defenseman that was turned inside out by Ovechkin's self pass to himself, but also was the defender turned inside out by Sergei Fedorov and Nick Backstrom's pinpoint passing on the Caps only power play goal.

  • The Caps penalty kill was a sad sight to see in this game. They allowed all three of the Canadien's goals with a man down. It didn't take them long on power play for the Habs to score either taking advantage of a disorganized defensive squad that couldn't cover quickly enough. Although two of those power play goals by Montreal should have been stopped by Jose Theodore.

  • John Erskine had spurts of good and bad moments on the ice. There were times he was tough on defense, while other times seemed too concentrated on getting a hit in that he misread the play.

  • The puck in this game was out for some blood, Mike Green was hit high with a puck, one of the referees was it in the cheek and a couple of Canadiens and Capitals took hard shots to the leg. In all 30 shots were blocked by both teams.

  • Whatever the Caps were doing at even strength against Montreal was working. While the Habs had a few chances 5 on 5, the Caps dominated the play, especially the number line of Backstrom, Alex Semin and Ovechkin (or the SOB line).

  • Seven different Capitals scored a point and no one had more than one.

  • Dave Steckel's goal was his first in eight games and his seventh of the season. It is his first game tying goal of his NHL career and was his only recorded shot on net in the game. The deflection came off of a Tom Poti blast who was the only Capital that was a +2.

  • Montreal Canadien player Andrei Markov had the best stats of the night with three primary assists and finished a -1. He was named the game's first star.

  • Donald Brashear and Georges Laraque almost came to blows and might have if Laraque hadn't taken a penalty against Brash. On the skate back to the bench after the penalty call, several Canadiens chirped at Brashear, but he just smiled back at them as the linesman escorted him just in case.

  • This shootout line up by Bruce Boudreau made more sense rather than the last one. Alex Semin and Nick Backstrom both scored on their chances putting the pressure on the Canadiens to answer, which they couldn't. JT60 did a great job of outlasting the shooter in the shootout.

  • Puckhead's player of the game would have to be Shaone Morrisonn. He played solid and didn't take any late penalties in this game, he was called for hooking in the first period. He also had a big hit in the first a played a pretty solid second and third periods.
In all it was a good effort by the Capitals against a team desperate for the win. Special teams however, seems to be the Achilles heal for the Caps and that has to be cleaned up before the end of the season. Caps continue their home stand with a game against the Colorado Avalanche Friday and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday which is NBC's game of the week.

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