Knee-jerks: @ Florida, 2/27/07

knee jerkSo the Caps trade their first-line center, completely sleepwalk through the first eight minutes of the first period, then manage to make the rest of the game worth watching. Strange, strange game.

  • After being complete zombies throughout the first half of the first period, Washington got back to playing the manic, high-energy style that marked their success earlier in the season. It was a welcome sight, maybe next time they start that at the beginning of the game.
  • According to my count, the Caps had all of the 30+ year old players in their line up tonight: Brashear (35), Muir (33), and Cassivi (31). (Chris Clark is 30, Kolzig is 35, both injured)
  • Brian Pothier had a tough defensive game early.
  • The power play almost looked competent. The Caps really seemed to simplify things, and that went a long way to keeping possession and getting shots on net.
  • Steve Eminger had several glaring turnovers, and Shaone Morrisonn had several odd defensive reads.
  • The Caps did a relatively good job of staying out of the box without giving up their aggressiveness
  • Boyd Gordon threw two hits on the same shift, though he was credited with none, for some reason. Kris Beech played as physically as I’ve seen him, as well.
  • Olie Jokinen? Bad man.
  • Speaking of bad men, Ovechkin looked like it was mid January of ’06. Speed, decently positionally, committed on the forecheck, and generally rambunctious. Good to see.
  • I’m not sure how Alexander Semin didn’t figure in the scoring. He and Ovechkin really seemed to have chemistry tonight.
  • Brian Sutherby’s offensive resurgence continues. Of course, being teamed up with a hot Ovechkin doesn’t hurt.

The Caps clearly showed the effect of trading Zubrus, whom they used in all situations and was a leader for the team. Ovechkin’s first goal seemed to shake them out of the funk. Even though they lost in a shootout, the way they came back after such a terrible start was heartening. Next stop: not having a bad start.

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