Knee-jerks: @ Buffalo, 12/26/06

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.

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5 Responses to Knee-jerks: @ Buffalo, 12/26/06

  1. By the time I got home from work, Buffalo had just scored goal 6.
    Seems like a good time to watch Leafs/Wild instead.

  2. pepper says:

    the cupping his ear gesture of ovechkin strangely, and eerily, reminded me of a game during the dark “jagr era” where the quitter jags put together a solid effort on a particular (and unique, for him as a cap) night, and scored the overtime winner at home and gestured to the fans in a similar fashion (was it jan 03 against the isles?). i agree that it was a bit out of line for having it handed to them the period before and being down still by four.
    ideally it seems hanlon wants to keep semin and ovie on separate lines, but keeps throwing the two out together when he feels the circumstances dictate. perhaps at some point soon “the exception will create the rule.” i am concerned that a pettinger/beech/clark 2nd line becomes a checking line in character, without any one player to attract the defense and make plays to the net or get nifty SOG, and leaves us with a single crafty scoring line, like last season.
    i won’t try to analyze the defense with such a lopsided first half of the game, except to say that i hope, as i think all of us do, that schultz establishes himself this year the way green did last year.

  3. GoBucks9 says:

    I love his reaction. I never want him to play without emotion.

  4. Capsaholic says:

    Ovie’s goal celebration was GREAT. Had nothing to do with the game, it’s was between him and the whining slugs fans.

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