I came into last night's game a bit excited because I thought we would finally get to see the real Caps play.
So who were those guys in Red that showed up (or didn't) last night?
Putting it simply, the game was spectacular in being unspectacular.
I took a look at the standings and not only is Ottawa having a tough year, but their goals against is among the worst. Naturally I figured we'd all get sunburned by the red light switch. Not so. And not to knock Alex Auld, but he's, well....Alex Auld. So I figured we were in for a nice blowout that would result in a half priced pizza the next day courtesy of Papa John's. I hate paying full price for my pizza, must be why I'm in such a blah mood right now.
At least the power play knocked one in--from Nick Backstrom no less. In fact, it could be said that the Swedish pivots and Tomas Vokoun had the only good games of the bunch. Everybody else looked at least a little flat. All right, I'll throw in Knuble as an exception well, since he seems to be on a roll. Two assists, that's like a record for him, isn't it? Just kidding, Mike.
Speaking of the power play, it was even more interesting who was out there as opposed to the result. Captain OV was benched when Backstrom opened the scoring, as was pointed out in the Japers Rink recap.
Also, the point was occupied by Mike Green and Dennis Wideman. I think most will agree that it's good to have a Wideman on the point if you don't want the puck to slip past.
Dressing DJ King--was this the Bruce's version of closing the barn door after the animals have escaped? Could have used him to bash in a few faces Thursday night. Too bad he's such a liability going the other way that we can't risk dressing him every now and then in the bigger games. Wonder why he didn't try to start anything with Chris Neil? Oh that's right, because Chris Neil was, for once, smart enough to not try and start something on his own. Of course his first of his two dumb penalties let to Backstrom's goal.
I hate to admit something else, but I was actually bored for just about the whole second period and most of the third. Yeah I know....pretty bad for a die-hard. But I didn't switch off the game and I wasn't tired enough to fall asleep, so I started making up my lineups for this week for my fantasy team. Yep the Bumblers are back in play in the Ice Warriors League. And thanks in no small part to Mr. Vokoun, I am back in the top half of the ladder. Which is to say, sixth place. Well, it's early....
Anyway, I kept peeking over at the screen to keep up with what was going on and I realize it's two-thirds of the way through the third. About 7 minutes and some change left, and it's still 2-1 Caps. Good. Except now the Senators were bringing it to the Capitals. And as I found out a little later, they'd been doing so since the opening faceoff of the second period. Uh oh. Fortunately Vokoun was equal to the task, turning aside everything that was thrown at him. Except of course for that end-of-period marker that got past him back in the first. No idea what he was thinking, diving for that one....he looked like a demented swimmer flailing around in a pond. Sure wished he'd have stayed on his feet, would have gotten the Caps (and the Bumblers for that matter) their first shutout of the year.
They say a win is a win. While this is true, I've said it before--the regular season is a breeding ground for bad habits. Bad habits like giving a 20 minute effort in a 60 minute game. And this is far from the first time we've all seen this happen. They say art imitates life, and we all like things neatly wrapped up in convenient packages. But this isn't a half-hour sitcom where everything can go to crap and yet be all right again within 25 minutes. No, this is an 82 match march for the right to win 16 more games. Two points is good, but you have know how to get there; those that take shortcuts often find themselves lost.
By the way, I haven't lost sight of the fact that the Caps are now 4-0 to start the season. But I'll take a few losses here and there if it gives this team some character. After all, we want the real prize, not some shiny trophy named after an office that no longer exists.