Knee-jerks: at Tampa Bay, 11/28/06

Photo from Yahoo!(Brief knee-jerks, today, as I left my notes at home. Or my dog ate them. Or something.)
Well, back to the winning formula — give up a bunch of shots, get great-to-incredible goaltending, and score a couple of goals.

  • Gordon and Pettinger are PK machines. It’s hard to praise a defense that gives up 50 shots, but the oh-fer the Caps’ PK unit hung on Tampa Bay deserves valorous honorable mention. Pettinger’s diving swipe to clear the zone and spring Gordo on the shorthanded goal was game-changing.
  • Let’s go ahead and leave Beech as the second-line center, for now. In fact, let’s go ahead and and keep the Semin-Beech-Pettinger line together. Semin and Pettinger’s injuries may have prevented the line from developing any chemistry, so let’s just sit back and let ’em play for a bit. If they can turn into a decent scoring option, the Caps become a significantly harder team to play against.
  • Speaking of Semin: you’ve heard it before in this space, but the guy’s got dangle to spare.
  • Tampa may have goaltending issues.
  • The Caps don’t. Kolzig turned in another Herculean effort, and while he and Johnson are game, the Caps can’t keep depending on their netminders to post those kind of save totals. The number of shots against has to come down.

And, finally, the most important lesson taught tonight is an old one, and very important: There are no bad road wins in the National Hockey League.

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