Knee-jerks & Notes: Tampa, 11/10

  • It was a game for the taking at the start of the third period.†One team took it; the other took bad penalties. Again. †
  • Seventeen games into the 2007-08 season this is a Caps’ team without an identity.
  • A thing of beauty:†The Caps’ first goal, when†Mike Green’s slick stickhandling and†even more impressive dish to Ovechkin rightfully brought Verizon Center fans out of their discounted seats. But the dynamic Mike Green has an inexperienced and maturity-challenged alter ego, which we saw†about 5 minutes later when he senselessly went stick swinging in Kolzig’s crease.††Knee-Jerk Reactions

Given Chris Bourque’s conspicuously meager minutes, one wonders what’s the purpose of his recall.
There does appear to be some offensive flash taking hold in Tomas Fleischmann’s game. He was outstanding in Ottawa, and he again seemed more confident on the puck tonight.

  • We’ve watched Martin St. Louis eviscerate the Caps for nearly a decade now, and we keep wondering why no one can lay a heavy hit on him. Ever. It’s one of the least commented upon and most underrated aspects of his offensive game; nightly he†manages to keep himself out of harm’s†way and yet†himself down low among the danger in lethal fashion. †††
  • Clearly there’s something distinctively atrocious about the Verizon Center ice. We’ve heard and read complaints about it really since opening night, and Saturday night the incidence of falling world-class skaters bordered on†the burlesque. We the television viewing were informed that a matinee basketball game was undoubtedly partly to blame. But that doesn’t explain the wretched surfaces on preceding weeknights, or the multi-use of other arenas without comparable stumblings in their hockey games. ††

Audrius Zubrus left his position as Senior Regional Sales Manager for the Capitals, but not before working one last game versus the Lightning and a post game send off at RNR Bar & Lounge. One guess as where he’ll be working next.
Acadie Bathurst Titan center Mathieu Perreault, the Caps’ sixth-round selection in the 2006 draft, has surged to the very top of the QMJHL scoring lead despite playing fewer games than almost all of his peers. He was named the Q’s PLayer of the Week for the week of November 5, and in his last three games he’s posted 6 goals and 5 assists. Last season, Perreault tallied 41 goals and 78 assists in 67 games for the Titan. He’s on pace to top 140 points in the Q this season.
2007 second round draft pick Ted Ruth, a freshman blueliner at Notre Dame, is a +10 in 10 games for the Fighting Irish. He skated a +2 Friday night in Notre Dame’s 2-1 upset on the road of no. 1 ranked Miami, and he is earning minutes as a top pairing defender with senior Brock Sheahan. USC was idle this weekend.

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11 Responses to Knee-jerks & Notes: Tampa, 11/10

  1. Scai says:

    Here we are, not even six weeks into the long awaited season when finally “the rebuild is over” and yet again all we can turn to to lift our spirits up a bit is the play of prospects who aren’t even toiling for the farm yet..

  2. Gustafsson says:

    Perhaps we can petition the league to play more games in the Province of Ontario. That seems to be the only place we can win. 😉

  3. Meza44 says:

    I think it is time for a change, either coach or players. Our defense is like a sieve and the pairings aren’t working.

  4. Muddapucker says:

    So far, we have lost 5 of 6 in November, resulting in 3 points.
    People say don’t rush to judgement. The team is injured. Butwe won with an injured lineup in Ottawa, didn’t we?
    This is appearing to me to be more a matter of motivation (or lack of it) than anything else. I guess we know who is charged with the responsibilty of team motivation.
    Whats the problem?

  5. hockeygrl_76 says:

    Is this team ever going to get better? We’re worse then last year and the rebuild is supposed to be over! I’m frustrated…beyond frustrated and whats worse is that I’m not so sure Ted even knows his fans are upset! What is the likelihood that something will change soon?

  6. pepper says:

    Thanks OFB, for bringing into focus the prospect progress again. It distracts us from the whir and grind of the kitchen sink garbage disposer that has become this season, and keeps up the fantasy that, one day, we’ll have this critical mass of young talent coming into their own to anchor and maintain a successful franchise.
    And, of course, Hanlon can continue to shepherd these guys along in their development, as they make the big club, until a legitimate NHL coach can be hired to take them to playoff contention.

  7. Jordan says:

    I disagree when you say that nobody was able to hit St. Louis last night. While it is true that he dodged a couple of potential big ones, I saw Milan Jurcina absolutely nail him at least twice.

  8. Doug says:

    What’s easier, change the coach or make a bunch of changes on the team? There are several good coaches out there. The Tampa game on Saturday night was frustrating beyond belief. This is probably the first game I’ve witnessed where I did NOT believe the Caps gave 100% effort. Very discouraging!!

  9. MulletMan says:

    I thought the Caps not having an identity was their identity.
    I didn’t see any highlights from the game but did anyone truly see a high stick when we received the 4 minutes? From my seats it looked like the skater ran into the goal crossbar.

  10. Gustafsson says:

    From my seats (sec 426), it looked like the butt of his stick came high and got him. Since they don’t show replays of “controversial” plays in house, I can’t be sure.

  11. Muddapucker says:

    I know I am stating the obvious, but when the Caps are in Ontario… they won (and won big!). The same team that is injured, the same team that lacks identity, the same team with the developing youngsters, insert your favorite excuse here, etc, etc. etc.
    Do the Caps in win in Ontario because its on nationwide TV there? Is it because the don’t want to look bad in front of the center of the hockey universe, but don’t really care how they look elsewhere particularly at the phone booth? Maybe, they have a sense of pride in front of their Canadian home folks but are content to provide a mediocre effort in front of the ticket paying public in DC.
    Motivation is huge problem in my opinion. I don’t accept anything else at this point. Somebody needs to light a fire under this team’s collective arse. It a shame, a real shame that the Capitals have a loyal fan base (albeit small in comparison to a lot of other hockey towns) that has stuck with them and their reward is marginal effort by the home team.
    They ought to be ashamed.
    I know someone is going to take issue with this, but look at the Toronto game, look at the Ottawa game and then look at their home record… The proof is in the pudding. And don’t blame the crappy ice at Verizon Center, its the same for both teams.

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