Monday, March 02, 2009

Caps Start March Like A Lamb

Capitals 2, Panthers 6
Scoresheet - Post - Times

Bruce Boudreau did not want to make a single excuse about their losses at home, especially when the Caps gave up three power play goals in the first period.

"It seemed like they had the puck in the power play for the whole 2 minutes in our zone every time," A frustrated Boudreau said. "I can't sugarcoat it, and I can't find excuses for it."

He even called out his leadership on his team: "As a coach, you'd like to see [people take charge]. We were just discussing that, as coaches. You know, it's tough for the coach to come in there every day and yell when we're not doing well. Someone's got to take initiative in the room."

As tough as it was to rewatch the game, I had too to really see where the Capitals broke down. To be brutally honest, this was the worst defensive stance the Caps have put forth since the days of Glen Hanlon. The blue-liners were losing battles on the boards, standing around, allowing Florida to use their speed.

John Erskine and Milan Jurcina may have been the whipping boys for Boudreau as their ice time was severely cut in the third. He also placed Sergei Fedorov on the back line to try and jump start some kind of offense, but by the time the third came around the Caps just looked beat.

But not all of the blame goes to the Capitals' defensemen. Backchecking seemed to be a problem for the Capitals centermen and wings. It may have been a long hard fought game in Boston that tamed the Caps, but Boudreau was quick to dismiss that.

"It's not like we are asking them to play 5 games in six days," Boudreau said.

Undisciplined play caught the Caps flat-footed in the first. The Panthers were a perfect 3 for 3 in the first period. It was an easy area to find out where the Caps had gone wrong because without those power play tallies, the Caps could have taken a one goal lead in the the first intermission.

The penalties are just bad too, 2 hooking, a holding call, tripping, a high stick and a delay of game over the glass. Lazy bad penalties to take. 4 stick in fractions that were not really necessary. It means the Caps were not moving their feet nor winning any battles. If the Caps just let that player go the worst that can happen is a goal or give Theodore a chance to make a great save.

Alex Ovechkin gets a tally late in the game to bring his league leading total to 46 goals. Alex Semin scored the early powerplay tally that started the Caps off right, but turned out to be the only bright spot in the first 55 minutes of the game.

Puckhead's player of the game is the goal official in charge of turning on the red light. He had a busy night.

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