I'm going to dispense with the usual game recap because we all know what happened last night. A freaking disaster is what happened last night. If there are any fans of the PuckPodcast reading this, then you would know that the Caps got "boat raced" (definition #3). I could spill out every obscenity known to man, I mean I could make a hardened sailor blush right now and it would not even BEGIN to describe how mad I am at this team.
Here's what I saw (and what the box score says):
First of all, any team that plays so poorly that you allow Joffrey f'ing Lupul to be the first star of the game ought to be ashamed.
Jeff Schultz looked like he was skating in mud all night long. Finished a minus two and it was easy to see why. A lazy breakout pass led the first goal and lazy play overall the rest of the way. Shape up, or ship out, Sarge!
Caps had five--count 'em--five power play opportunities and got what Charlie Brown gets for Valentine's Day--nothing. The power play has been complete suckage this whole losing streak, going a combined 0-for-15 in all four losses. You want a place to improve? There's a good start.
Too many undisciplined penalties, leading to three Maple Leaf power play goals. 'Nuff said.
You know Phil Kessel would eventually get in on the act, which he did with his league 14th. This kills me to say it, but it's still got to be said: Who's laughing now, Ovi?
PS--Hurry back Mike Green!
Speaking of Mike Green--the game's final knee in the groin? Dave Steckel scoring the seventh and last goal for the Leafs. It gets better...it was while shorthanded....AND ON A BREAKAWAY! I've got dead relatives who move faster than Steckel and could have caught him, but evidently the Caps' power play couldn't.
That's enough of the bad (though I'm sure I could find more), now for some bright spots...with a twist.
The Caps at least made Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson look like a monster and earn the win by firing 40 shots at him. If only they had made more of their chances.
I guess I'm really reaching here, but the Caps did win the faceoff wars. In fact every Capitals player who went to the dot more than twice in the game came away with a .500 or better faceoff percentage. Except of course for Marcus Johansson. But, as I keep saying...fat lot of good that did.
Incredible as it may seem there were three Capitals who managed to finish the game at a +1 rating. Karl Alzner, Jason Chimera, and Brooks Laich. Good on all them, but Toronto's remaining big guns still won the day. So the old saying is still true--never bring a Swiss Army knife to a gun fight.
Alexander Semin has given my friend Bryan a nice money-making idea--an office pool for what penalty and when in the game he will be called for in the game. Okay, now, I'm reaching.
So make it the fourth straight loss, three straight in regulation. And the last two games have pretty much been lost by the midway point of the game. I'm not liking this trend at all. Add to that the fact that this team just doesn't seem to have any sense of direction only compounds the problem, which at this point is more than just not having Mike Green. The Bruce is putting his usual positive spin on things, but really the only good thing we can take away from all this is that it's still early in the season. Which of course means that there is plenty of time for adjustments. But the Caps are already halfway through matching their horrific eight game losing streak from last year. Now it's been said that you can't win the Cup within the first two months. But you can sure as hell lose it.