Complete turnaround from last night, kick-started by three unassisted goals in about six minutes. Of course, that was followed by Carolina scoring two goals to make things interesting, but the Caps finally got some separation on Eric Fehr’s first NHL marker.
- Can you name the Caps’ top three defenseman, in terms of ice-time? Eminger, yep. Morrisonn. Yep. Jeff Schultz? Yep. The big blueliner had a blessedly quiet nineteen minute night. No big gaffes, no glaring mistakes, just simple plays. Good stuff.
- Mike Green, on the other hand, didn’t have such a pleasant evening. I’m not sure if he’s hitting a rookie wall or whatnot, but he had an absolutely brutal turnover that led to a Carolina goal, and was out of sorts all evening. He ended the game with eight and a half minutes of ice time, ahead of only Kris Beech and Donald Brashear. Green’s play overall has had some bumps, recently, and it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff handles it.
- A lot of the offense was created off the forwards’ fore- and back-checking; stripping the puck, then springing a teammate, or skating it down themselves. As this has been a less-publicized part of the Caps’ team-defense issues, it’s a welcome sight, and it’s nice that the efforts were rewarded.
- The Alexes. Not too much that can be said that’s new or insightful — they’re ridiculously gifted hockey players.
- Speaking of gifts, Kris Beech was on the receiving end of what I thought was the best goal of the night — Ovechkin’s stickhandling clinic was nice to see, it doesn’t seem like that’s happened too much this season.
- Olaf Kolzig had to be good again, but he didn’t have to be great. That’s a nice development.
- I’m not sure I’m looking forward to the Caps playing Eric Staal in division games for the next ten years. He’s a remarkable hockey player.
- Scoring from the bottom two lines is a nice plus, and I liked the look of the Pettinger-Sutherby-Gordon line.
- It’s only one game, but right now who would you rather have on the Caps — Jakub Klepis or Eric Fehr? Me, too, and I like where Hanlon put Fehr — didn’t bury him with Brashear and Beech, but gave him eleven good minutes, and Fehr responded.
- It has been suggested in several places, including by Coach Hanlon, that these situations (end of a back-to-back series) is where the Caps’ emphasis on conditioning and youth come into play. They’re fresh.
Another dip and high point on the roller-coaster, and it’s probably going to stay this way for the rest of the season. Ah, the joys of following a young and talented team.