Alex Ovechkin knew he was going to be a marked man tonight, but he probably didn’t guess that Daniel Briere would be spearing him in the jingle bells.
- As for the game itself, not a lot to say. The Sabres came out on fire, Brent Johnson wasn’t sharp, and the Caps’ defense is currently not good. Not a hard equation to figure. I liked the way the team played the 2nd and 3rd periods, but that doesn’t help after a stinker like the opening stanza.
- Ovechkin cupping his ear after the goal? I didn’t like it, as his team was down by four at the time.
- We’re seeing more of the Ovechkin-Zubrus-Semin and Pettinger-Beech-Clark line combinations. Zubrus didn’t stand out to me, but Ovechkin and Semin seem to be working well together.
- The Caps didn’t do the little things: hard clears from the defense on the pk, crisp, strong passes, and not blowing keeps. If the Caps tighten those kind of things down, then the consistency issues should clear up.
- Lawrence Nycholat had a decent game, and tried to play with some physicality, as well. I’d take him over Muir or Heward at this point. Alexander Semin got burned by some of his cleverness tonight, but also made a few excellent plays, including one of his soon-to-be-trademarked coast-to-coast rushes where he takes on 3 defenders to get a shot on net.
All things considered, it could have been worse (and I thought it was going to be double-digits after the first), but things don’t get much easier for the Caps tomorrow night. Here’s hoping Shaone Morrisonn, at least, can get back into the line-up to stabilize things on the blueline a bit.