A Mixed Bag on Special Teams; More Gr8 Late Heroics

The Caps have played Ottawa in games like Monday’s before, where Ottawa is clearly the better team, and they are usually rewarded. A fairly poor Caps’ performance turned into an unlikely and undeserved win. But really good teams do that.

  • The Gr8 authored his eighth overtime game-winner. Ovechkin’s third shot of the game was the OT winner, a change-up that Pascal Leclaire would love to have back. Otherwise, Ovi only had one shot on goal through 50 minutes and was on the ice for the Sens tying goal in the third period.
  • Marcus Johansson is not performing especially well in the early stages of his NHL career. He seemed generally nervous Monday night and for the second Caps’ win in a row, skated as a minus player. MoJo also lost seven of nine draws last night.
  • While linemate Ovechkin has five points in the first three games this season, Nicklas Backstrom has got zilch on the 2010-11 docket. A poor defensive error at the blueline led directly to the Sens’ second goal.
  • A penny for your thoughts on the play of Tyler Sloan and John Erskine last night. Specifically, do you wish they were paid in pennies? Quality defensive depth is not likely to be a hallmark of the 2010-11 Caps.
  • Putrid: the Caps’ powerplay — it’s 1-for-12 on the young season. Last night it looked effortless. And we don’t mean effortlessly simple. It was pretty dismal, possibly worse than its performance against Montreal last postseason. The man-up units could barely pain entry into the offensive zone, never mind getting shots. They tried backdoor plays early on with Green and Carlson going for the tap-ins. It worked two years ago almost every time with Green, but not once last night.
  • Perfection: the Caps’ penalty kill — it’s 13-for-13 on the young season.
  • Both Caps’ regulation goals were backdoor garbage goals. Semin pulled a Sidney Crosby in the first period standing right outside the blue paint and Fehr was set up by a nice behind-the-net play by Hendricks and Gordo.
  • Neuvy shouldn’t be faulted for either Sens’ goal. The first was a deflection off Jarko Ruutu’s stick which was never going to be saved. Ryan Shannon dangled around John Carlson to roof Ottawa’s tying goal blocker side on Neuvirth. The Czech stopper has had consecutive balanced games with no bad goals against.

Atlanta Thrashers’ goalie Ondrej Pavelec collapsed in the season opener due to a not uncommon fainting spell, but he subsequently suffered a concussion from the fall to the ice. Still, his prognosis is good.

Slovakia General Manager Peter Bondra took in his first game of the season in the Verizon Center press box last night, checking out Ottawa’s Slovakian fist line winger, Milan Michalek.

Devils’ Dilemma: New Jersey, under dire salary cap duress, dressed just 15 skaters — just nine forwards! — for its home date versus Pittsburgh last night, a 3-1 Pens’ win. Nice cap management. Mike Green skated almost 32 minutes on Monday night. Imagine if he were in a Devils’ sweater these days.

This entry was posted in Alexander Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson, National Hockey League, New Jersey Devils, Nicklas Backstrom, Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Mixed Bag on Special Teams; More Gr8 Late Heroics

  1. angela says:

    Also of note, in my opinion: the bad penalty call on Ovi. Ruutu initiated the physical contact, running into Ovi from behind. Sure, Ovi skated obliquely in front of him, but avoiding collisions like that is hockey 101, and something a veteran like Ruutu should’ve easily been able to accomplish. It looked like a dive to me, and the penalty should’ve gone the other way.

  2. Chris says:

    I don’t understand BB’s philosophy of ‘keep doing the same thing over and over and over, regardless of results.’

    I know you need to play the hand your dealt, but after last years playoff it just seems insane.

  3. Drew says:

    I think Erskine played a good game last night, definitely showed some improvement over his game from last year. Yeah, there was the fall to the ice at a bad time, but otherwise I thought he looked solid.
    Agreed on the power play – what’s the deal with Green doing the dump & chase entering the zone every time on the power play? That’s not helping. We have a stable of puck carriers that can gain the zone easily.

  4. nafyekcoh says:

    The PP is too predictable. We were at the Caps/Trashers game and every play with the man advantage was directed to Ovi. Semin had two great looks and instead of pulling the trigger he sent the puck the Gr8. Teams have picked up on this and will continue to shut the Caps down until another number other than 8 steps up.

    In addition to the pitiful PP, the Caps passing is horrendous. Yes it is early in the season but come on, the guys have been together for a while now. However, I am surprised at how well the second line is playing. Flash has come out well.

  5. I never want to imagine Mike Green in a Devils’ sweater. It makes me recall Scott Stevens, then I get angry all over again.

  6. chris says:

    I was surprised you called out Erskine. I thought he played decently and with more than a little grit. He was slamming guys whenever he had the opportunity.Sloan however was absolutely horrible. He seemed nervous and was trying just a little too hard which usually leads to blunders which it did.

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