Knee-jerks: @ Buffalo, 3/21/07

And back to reality for the Caps, with a visit to the high-flying Buffalo Sabres bringing the Caps back down to Earth. The Caps were very game in the first, but Buffalo’s talent rose to the top in the second, putting the game away.kneejerk

  • Shaone Morrisonn had a good pinch later in the game, and played some solid defense, but the high-sticking double-minor he took in the first put the Caps in a spot.
  • The Caps’ power play looked, well, confused. The passing wasn’t really up to snuff, and Alex Ovechkin continued his season-long trouble of holding onto the puck, causing trouble in trying to gain the offensive zone.
  • Speaking of things we’d like to see on the power play, Brian Pothier’s bomb from near the blueline was impressive. I’m not sure why he’s hesitant to use it on the man-up (or Milan Jurcina, for that matter), but it couldn’t hurt, at this point.
  • The only real highlight for Caps fans is Brashear’s clear win over Andrew Peters.
  • Brooks Laich continues to be offensively assertive, though it’s not paying off. He’s taking the puck to the cage and showing some good stick-handling. At some point he needs to pot a few, but hes going in the right direction.
  • Milan Jurcina against pasted a few opponents, but his hooking penalty couldn’t have come at a worse time — the Caps get on the board, they may have a bit of momentum, then *boom*, time to go a man-down.
  • Boyd Gordon has to find a way to keep his stick throughout his penalty-killing shifts. Seems like he’s broken or lost his twig a lot recently.
  • The team has settled down, overall, in front of Kolzig, but you’d really like to see him make the stop on the second Buffalo goal.
  • Drew Stafford looked pretty darn good. His move on Eminger was a thing of beauty.

Buffalo continues it’s march to the post-season, and the Caps get Carolina tonight, and get a chance to wipe the bad taste out of their mouth by trying to play the role of spoiler. While I don’t expect the ice to be as tilted as it was for the Sabres contest, it’s still an up-hill task.

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