Thursday, January 24, 2013

Getting Nowhere Fast

Capitals 1, Canadiens 4
Game Summary - Event Summary

From bad, to ugly, to scary, the Washington Capitals are falling down a hole in only the third game of the season. Panic buttons sought after and pushed. The woes continue for the boys in red as they are manhandled in their third game in a row by the Montreal Canadiens 4-1.

Joey Crabb scored the lone Capitals goal. It came at just over two and half minutes play in the third period to break up Carey Price's shut-out.

The Capitals are off to their worst start since the '93-'94 season. If you are looking for silver linings, the dark clouds seem to be growing at a rate to over look the bright spot. While it is not the end of the world, there does need to see some sort of improvement. Just some quick points on the Caps loss.
  • Michal Neuvirth looked good through the first period. You can't really blame him for the four goals given up tonight, much like you could not fault Braden Holtby in the previous two games.
  • The Capitals' PK is terrible. There is just no nice way of saying it. And it's simple mistakes that are leading to goals with a man down. Defenders turning their back on plays, making the wrong read on plays developing in front of them. Making those corrections just comes with time, a luxury the Caps do not have. 
  • The Capitals' PP fares no better. The Caps were 0-4 tonight and what ever play they could muster, the shots seemed to be snuffed by a sprawling defender or Price was able to make the easy save. Lack of movement seems apparent on the new power play system.
  • Mathieu Perreault complained about his ice time, so coach Adam Oates gave him more time. Matty P seemed to add a spark through the night and at times had a few good looks at the net. That is a player rewarding his coach for giving him more ice time.
  • If you are looking for heart, Matt Hendricks has an Aorta the size of the Washington Monument. He fights, he hits, and he has scored. Hendricks might not have been on the scoring end tonight, but his hard work, tenacity and overall hockey sense makes him, thus far, this team's MVP.
  • Adam Oates said it. The Capitals are a "fragile" team right now. It showed. After the 5 on 3 goal and the following Habs PP goal, the Caps just looked beat. Body language spoke volumes following Montreal's two goal lead. Hanging heads, team mates not speaking on the bench, it looked as ugly as it was.
  • The line juggling in this game reeked of desperation on the behalf of the Caps' coaching staff. Alex Ovechkin started on the right wing, but moved back to his familiar left wing spot. Not that any of that juggling helped much. Ovi's move back to left wing was done in the hopes to get him going.
No time to dwell, Caps face Devils tomorrow night at "The Rock".

Caps Notes:
  • The Capitals are the only team in the Eastern Conference with out a standings point. Both Carolina and Philadelphia were the last hold outs, and both won their games tonight. If the LA Kings win or tie tonight, the Capitals will be the only team in the NHL with out points. Setting the bar high.
  • The tandem of Carl Alzner and John Carlson was broken up for the third period, at the mention of breaking the pair up by Alzner to the coaching staff between periods. The coaching staff obliged and Alzner played with Hamrlik to start the third.
  • The Habs broke a 6 game losing streak against the Capitals with their win tonight.

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