Monday, November 2, 2009

Thoughts on the Game: Columbus, 11/1

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ovie's 'hurt' and everyone is worries it's serious. Serious would be if he didn't get up after he fell, or if he was slumped over on his way back to the bench. Serious is not coming back to the bench, waving both arms like a bird and wearing a suit after the game. Ovie will miss MAYBE 1 game. My bet is we see him in all his Ovieness on Wednesday.

To the notes!

-I'm not sure I've heard the Phone Booth go from 'Fedorov scores in Game 7' loud to 'Pittsburgh goes up 4-0' quiet so quickly.

-The Knuble/Laing "I bet I can keep the puck pinned to the boards behind your goalie for 2 minutes" PK was a thing of beauty. Caps fans are smart enough to know when they see hard work and rewarded the PK unit with a deserved ovation.

-Q was his typical Q: nice layed-out shot block and a prettier 'putting in the garbage' goal that SHOULD have been the game winner. No, he's not blocking shots like in previous seasons. But if you notice, teams are moving the puck away from the point side that he's playing. His shot blocking is so well known that he's dictating the direction the puck is going. Caps, take note of this and you can eliminate the harder point shots just by putting Q on that side.

-Having Flash back opens things up to interesting line combos. It was nice to see the Bradley/Steckel/Laich line back together, and Semin/Backstrom/Fleischmann put on a passing clinic early on. When Laich moved up to Ovie's spot with Morrison and Knuble, that line became the best.

-A penalty at the end of regulation? A penalty in OT? Same M.O. on the power play and same goal scored twice? Great teams just don't do these things. We're a good team, but not a great one.

-How can you let the puck get to the far side man on the PK? The Caps' defense does a poor job getting into obvious passing lanes, and an even worse job letting the D know when they have a man behind them.

-I think I'm going to stop trashing the Defense. It's getting repeditive. From now on, I'm just going to type 'WTFD' when the defense:
  • Loses battles in the corner
  • Panics
  • Throws the puck away like a hot potato
  • Makes passes through the slot
  • Loses the race to nearly every loose puck
  • Takes dumb penalties
  • Skates the puck end to end just to turn it over (coughGreencough...)
-Jose, I understand you couldn't do anything about the bad bounce behind the net. It happens. But the fact that it happened earlier in the period and you just lucked out that the puck hit you instead of carroming in front means you should have known not to come out the way you did. Also, getting your stick stuck in the net? Ugh.

-It's come to the point where if Semin and Backstrom can't stop toe dragging and behind the back passing, and Green can't stop going end-to end and then turning the puck over in the corner, I'm going to lose it. Great teams make the simple play. Great teams don't try the highlight reel play.

-Rick Nash is the quietest superstar in the game. He has great hands, exceptional skating ability and a sick shot. And, unlike a lot of superstars, he's in the first PK unit fot the Jackets.

-Speaking of Nash, I'm not sure who looked worse on his goal: Green who looked like he'd forgotten how to transition from forward to backward or Theodore, who simply fell down.

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