First a Lightning storm then a Hurricane. The Washington Capitals sure like to keep things interesting don't they? All in a week's work as the Caps have now clawed their way back into first place for the time being.
Withstanding a frightening 44 shots and turning away all but one yet again was the game's number one star, Tomas Vokoun. How long he can keep this up is anyone's guess, so long as he can keep it up. Some of the saves were routine, some were borderline spectacular, and some were just mind-boggling.
What cannot be kept up is the fact that the Caps keep on getting outshot game after game. Yesterday was another pitiful output with far too many chances given up. A microcosm of what went wrong was a 48-second span in the second period where, try as they might, the Caps' "shutdown" unit could not even clear the zone, letting Carolina have several dangerous chances. The Hurricanes were supposed to be the ones playing back on their heels as they were on the second part of back-to-back games, but they clearly looked like the fresh team at least for the first half of the game.
Buoyed by Dmitry Orlov's first ever NHL goal, (wasn't the look on his face priceless?) not to mention Vokoun's stellar puckstopping, the Caps were able to finish strong. That is except for the last minute when the Canes had their goalie pulled. All the Caps could manage is forced icing--that guy Justin Faulk for Carolina is either a glutton for punishment or one speedy SOB.
How many times have I said this? I love the win but.....
In all seriousness even with the win the Caps could have played much better than they did. That's not to say they came out flat: Jay Beagle, Troy Brouwer, Dennis Wideman, and Alex Ovechkin all had at least 4 hits each. But at the same time they couldn't get much going offensively nor could they get organized defensively. In short, the problem I had with this game is that they could have easily been on the wrong side of that 2-1 final score. It's gotten to the point where you have to wonder if there's some mysterious ailment with the team where they can't get the result they need. I know what they say, better to play a bad game and win than to play your best game and lose. Even so, the wins aren't as easy to come by anymore, so you would think the time for possibly piddling away two points has long since left the station.
Shifting topics to another matter, what the hell was wrong with the officials? I'm only referring to the goal that never was scored by Brooks Laich. First of all, I agree with the "call" of incidental contact with the goalie. Yes, I said it. Here is the problem I have with the whole thing--the "call" of incidental all came from the broadcast crew--Joe B., Locker, and guest analyst Alan May.
Every disputed goal, as we should all know by now, get reviewed by the "war room" in Toronto. They're the ones that make the determination whether or not it's a good goal. So evidently in yesterday's case they figured it wasn't a good goal. Okay, fine. But at least tell us why. No one did. All the referee did when he stopped playing Secret Service agent was wave his arms like some demented airport worker. This is the thing that drives even the most casual fan berserk about the officials. Increasingly they seem to have this idea that they don't have to explain themselves to anyone, least of all the fans.
So we're back to where we always are after a win like this. Happy we got the two points and also relieved it didn't go the other way.
Les Habitants await. Is that a target on Rene Bourque I see?