Monday, October 19, 2009

Thoughts on the Game: Nashville, 10/17

I don’t work on the weekends, so here are my thoughts from last Saturday’s game against Nashville:
-Once again, I was impressed with Quintin Laing and his work ethic. He laid the game’s biggest hit behind the Nashville net in the 3rd and was excellent on the PK. His ice time continues to increase (up to over 17 minutes last game).

-On the flip side, the Aucoin/Fehr/Clark line looked terrible. No offensive pressure and no defensive presence. They were the bottom three in ice time and none of them skated more than 7:15 at even strength (and only Clark added any PP time to that number).

-My wife noted that Fehr was “falling all over himself” and that the last time she saw that much falling by a player, it was in C-league hockey at The Gardens. Yikes.

-Listen, I know I sport a #40 jersey to every home game I can make, but you honestly can’t fault Varly for either goal against on the night. The first goal was a nice drop pass to Shea Webber who, in case you forgot, shot the puck 103.4 mph at last year’s All-Star Game skills competition. From just below the top of the circles, with accuracy to put it just under the crossbar, I dare any NHL goalie to get apiece of it.

-Webber is a VERY underrated player. I, honestly, would put him in the top 5 among NHL defensemen for his all-around skill. Did you notice he took a slap shot on a breakaway in the 1st? He knows how hard he can shoot the puck. He’s really, really good.

-The second goal, from an incredibly poor angle, deflected off Pothier’s shin pad and through Varly. I take the blame away from Varly because had he not reacted to the initial shot/pass, and it hadn’t hit Pothier, it goes through the top of the crease instead of on goal. I guess no one noticed the Predator making his way to the far post for what would have been an easy tap in had Forty not reacted to the puck.

-The last two games, the Caps defense has been pressured in their own end and has had SEVERE problems getting the puck out of the defensive zone. The positioning seems to be there, but the puck is getting stuck in the corners. I’m not sure if it’s a lack of speed (Jurcina, Schultz, Poti and Morisson all look VERY slow this season) or the fact that the wings routinely start the breakout at the center red line but something needs to change.

-The two shorthanded break-aways in the 1st were about as bad as they looked. No far side point man, no real effort to get back. Varly stood his ground on both and it game the team confidence.
-You can tell Semin had a bad game by the following stats: 4 shots on goal, 4 missed shots, 0 take-aways, and 0 turn-overs.

-To the drunk excitable guy who sits in the back of section 412: Please, please, please STOP YELLING AT JEFF SCHULTZ. Telling us all how much he sucks does not make you suck any less.

-Ted: Thank you for stocking dog collars at the merch stands! Our dog has never looked so cool.

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