Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Welcome Back Backstrom

Capitals 2, Islanders 1
Game Summary

Nick Backstrom scored his first points of the season, a goal and an assist, to help the Capitals down the New York Islanders 2-1. Alex Ovechkin also had two points on the night and John Carlson added to his point streak that now extends to 3 games.

Due to time constraints tonight, I will just give you some highlights of the game.
  • Bruce Boudreau switched up his lines before the game to jump start some key players. Basically to get Backstrom on the board. He pulled Tomas Fleischmann up to the top line with Ovechkin and Mike Knuble. Backstrom was put down with Alex Semin and Brooks Laich. The chemistry of both lines were atrocious and Boudreau quickly corrected the lines back to the original in the second period. The change led to both Ovi's and Backstrom's goals.
  • The Caps won the game on a power play goal, only their second PP goal of the season. But the power play is far from being a working system. The extra man strategy continues to struggle with predictable plays and little or no movement. With as much talent the Caps have, it would serve them better to add more movement and to finish their passes. 
  • Michal Neuvirth is really good. He made a few game saving stops, especially in the third period. The Caps' defense still needs to tighten up their game a bit. Although they did keep the Islanders to only 6 shots in both the first and second period. Neuvy stopped all 12 shots in the third.
  • The Capitals overall play was pretty sloppy tonight. Missed passes, bad clears and bad decisions with the puck is going to hurt them against much better teams. It was partly due to the line switch ups and partly to Caps waiting for the perfect homerun play. The Islanders luckily tried to play a defend-first style game, keeping the play from opening too much. The Caps were able to capitalize late from a bad penalty by the Islanders. Sometimes it pays to be lucky.
  • DJ King dressed for his first game of the season for the Capitals. He didn't disappoint, as he dropped the mitts just 2:47 into the game. He took on Trevor Gillies in a heavy weight battle. He was pretty invisible for the rest of the game as he was only used for a total ice time of 4:43.
  • Mike Green took a beating tonight. The Islanders didn't shy away from getting a body on the Caps' defenseman. He would leave late in the game smarting. Boudreau told the media that he had a stinger and is listed day to day.
  • The Capitals struggled all night in the face off dot. The whole team was only 41% on the draws. Boyd Gordon only won three out of 13 (23%), Backstrom was only 30% (3-7), Matt Hendricks was 33% (2-4), and David Steckel was 44% (2-3).
  • Alex Ovechkin takes over the points lead in the league with his two points tonight. He has 7 points in 4 games played. He also has a 4 game point streak going and a 3 game goal streak at the moment.

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