Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Different Coach, Same Result

Capitals 1, Blues 2
Game Summary

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Dale Hunter had one practice and a morning skate to work with his new team. Not much time to turn the team on its rear and start playing like the Washington Capitals should. It was clear that not much changed as the players took the ice and dropped Hunter's coaching debut to the St. Louis Blues and their new head coach Ken Hitchcock 2-1.

Nick Backstrom scored the only Caps' goal after a pretty feed from Alex Ovechkin in the first period. But that would be all the offense the Caps could muster as the Blues choked the top lines. Typical Hitchcock-coached team, the Blues stifled the Capitals high powered offense and took advantage of the few chances they did get from some break downs by the Capitals.

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Matt Hendricks picked probably the best time for a fight early in the third period, but the Caps gained little to no momentum from it. Jason Chimera had a strong game too moving his feet and registering 4 hits.

The Blues have been a hot team of late since their coaching change. The Caps are still in slump mode and it showed for most of the game. The Caps had a weak second period mustering only 6 shots on Halak. Granted the Caps were forced to kill off a double minor by Troy Brouwer but the Caps were only able to get 19 shots total on Jaroslav Halak.

While it's not that great of a measuring stick on how Dale Hunter will ultimately coach his team, it does show the work that is cut out for him. With just one more day of practice before Conference rival Penguins are at the phone booth, Hunter is going try and solve the offensive woes of the Caps while keeping an eye on the defensive side of the puck.

Caps Notes:
  • Tomas Vokoun registered his first point of the season with an assist on the Backstrom goal. He was credited with the secondary assist.
  • The ice times for each player was pretty consistent. No player averaged more that :50 seconds per shift, and only Troy Brouwer was the lowest at :37 seconds per shift (mostly due to his double minor in the second period).
  • Both John Erskine and Marcus Johansson left the game with injuries and both returned before the end of the game.

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