So we're back to this again. The team with the identity crisis reverted back to its old ways with another lackluster effort last night on the road.
It seemed to start off well--another Matt Hendricks fight to get them fired up. But it was all downhill after that. Too many battles lost, far too many giveaways in their own zone, and just plain too much careless play all around. All to the benefit of Hurricanes winger Jussi Jokinen, who scored twice. Not to mention goalie Cam Ward, who stopped all 23 Washington shots.
John Carlson looked especially bad. He may have blocked 5 shots, but he also bobbled the puck at his own blue line during a power play. The end result was a shorthanded goal that ended up being the game winner. Really Awful Hockey, John. You can do better than that.
There were times where it didn't even look like they were going to clear their own zone, It was if they just completely forgot how to play defense. They gave up 33 shots and even the best goalies are going stop 94% of them on average. You do the math.
Equally as frustrating was the offensive output. Sure they got more shots, but had several golden opportunities they could have buried and didn't. Cody Eakin's clanger off of Cam Ward, then the post was the best example. It's called making the most of your chances and they simply didn't. Maybe it just wasn't the Caps' night. But it's never really that simple, is it?
The signature moment that showed just how unbelievably bad this game was came on the last goal. Tomas Vokoun saw that no one was going to put a body on the rushing Jiri Tlusty so he took matters into his own hands. Or rather his legs. It didn't help. He's lucky he wasn't called for a penalty on the play. You could just see the frustration he was feeling.
No point in going on about it, this was one of the worst games they've played all season. Not quite as bad as the Buffalo game that ended up being Bruce Boudreau's last, but it's up there. Or should I say down there. Whichever.
Up next is a nationally televised game against our old rivals, the flightless birds of the frozen tundra. That's the Pittsburgh Penguins to you and me. Maybe they'll show a better effort for this one. Your guess is as good as mine.