Another Saturday night and I didn't have a win to show for it. If Bruce Boudreau were an R & B singer that would be his song. Double frustrating considering the lead the Caps staked themselves to from the off. Two goals by the first period's end and we were looking good. All that was needed was a knockout blow. A knockout blow that never came.
OK, I'm going to have to admit something here. I did not see the whole game. I saw up to the part where the Devils made it 2-1 in the second. I was then gradually put to sleep by tactics that reminded me of how the game was played a decade ago when it was called the Dead Puck Era. I'm not kidding either. The Caps managed all of two shots the second period. Two. Unless you have a sniper scope, that kind of odds doesn't win games. Made for a lot of snoozing from my easy chair, that's for sure.
I woke up in time to see the circus, er shootout. I was hoping Matt Hendricks would do what he's gotten really good at--bury his first chance. He didn't. No worries Matt, you'll get a-one and then a-two for your little girl and boy. But Alex Ovechkin did what he had to do in burying it when it was turn after the Devils got theirs. By the way, he got 11 hits in the game which is certainly more than this site gets in a week. Going to have to fix that...so anyway it was back and forth for another few rounds and David Clarkson puts it away. Crap.
It turned out Ryan Carter got the goal that sent the game beyond regulation. That's right, the same Ryan Carter whose impression of a dog urinating in mid-flight resulted in Mike Green being out of action yet again. I understand it was a back-to-back game and they may not have been able to do a review in time. One has to wonder, however, given this new era of supposed transparency from the new disciplinary regime AKA Sheriff Shanahan why no supplementary discipline was handed down. Since no one else seems too outraged about this, I'll end it by asking this: can we get a video response as to why certain actions are NOT punished?
Now onto what else I saw:
Yes Brooks Laich is versatile. Yes he can play several different positions. Yes he's proven that he's invaluable to the team because of this. But no, I am not impressed nor will I ever be. So can we please, please, please stop with the nauseating outpouring of man-love for him for every little thing he does? And yes before you say anything, I do understand his importance in the faceoff circle (overrated as that stat may be). So much so that he managed to take six draws in the game, winning half of them. Obviously he did not play the entire game as a defenseman. Or is somebody saying that the regular center got kicked out, just happened to be subbed in by Laich, who would conveniently drop back into place on the blueline after the draw? And that this happened six different times? I think not. I jest of course, but I hope you see my point. It's too much ridiculous fuss over one guy.
The bigger issue at hand is how the now depleted defense corps will get through. No one on CSN seemed to have a reason why John Erskine was damn-near a game-time decision scratch. The obvious reason would be that he somehow reinjured himself, which is what it turned out to be. He's day-to-day as is Roman Hamrlik who went out sometime in the second. Did anyone miss him other than noticing that Dennis Wideman was out there an awful lot? It could be time for the NHL debut of Dmitry Orlov. Of course that still would only leave the team with five healthy defensemen, necessitating another call up. Sean Collins perhaps?
So the other big question here is, was the Devils' stifling game plan far superior or did the home team simply run out of gas? Two shots on net in one period isn't funny to be sure. It's also no way to win a hockey game.
Questions are leading to more questions. Did the recent "bag skate practice" leave the Caps bereft of a finishing kick? Will the Bruce find a way to kill off this sudden case of inconsistent play? I think he will but there needs to be time to heal first; from the physical wounds of course. Unfortunately a date with the Predators at the Rubber Center awaits. Three out of four points ain't bad but there's still much work to be done and it's a long season.
Just my two zinc Lincs.