For the second time in consecutive nights, the Caps allowed a 2-0 game go to overtime. Tonight’s battle with the Hurricanes found the Caps continuing to struggle with the penalty kill, but a superlative effort from Mike Green and an overtime goal from Tomas Fleischmann earned the red team the win.
The Caps clearly have not yet returned to their pre-Olympic break heights. The top line is whiffing on the crease-cluttered opportunities they used to exploit. The penalty kill unit gave up only one goal on four chances tonight, but they’re still not operating at full capacity. The usual suspects (*Cough*Semin*Cough*) are still committing penalties and surrendering pucks with alarming frequency. Fixing these problems will be crucial not only in the post-season, but in the next few weeks to secure the President’s Trophy.
Look, Ma! Bullets!
- Alexander Semin‘s wipeout miss in the shootout last night was blooper reel material. Semin sucked snow again tonight, but he scored in the process. Progress.
- Mike Green tallied two goals on the power play tonight, and for this we love him. We are reminded that it was this time last year when MG52 went from being an exemplary offensive D-man to a holy-crap-can-you-believe-this-guy offensive D-man. Here’s hoping that Green is ready to turn it up again. Then again, Mike was on the ice for 2 of the 3 Canes goals and gave them a penalty shot. Always room for improvement.
- The Caps’ top line produced no goals and was nowhere to be found for Tuomo Ruutu‘s go-ahead goal in the second period. Lots of people could prognosticate as to why the top line is struggling, but I find the fault in Mike Knuble taking shots from distances greater than 5 feet from the net.
- Ex-Cap Brian Pothier seems a good fit for the Hurricanes, and they did seem to employ his talent more than the Caps would. RMNB wishes Brian and former Cap prospect Oskar Osala all the best.
- What a relief it was for Tomas Fleischmann to net the game-winner. Having been shuffled out of rotation on Monday, Flash was dearly missed in overtime and the shootout in that game. Flash’s play seems to benefit from open ice, and the Caps seem like a much deeper team when he’s around.
Here’s an exchange between the girlfriend and me while watching post game interviews:
“I don’t think Eric Belanger is up to the Caps standard of handsomeness.”
“He looks like you, Peter.”
Friends, I won’t be around on Friday to write a game recap, so please feel free to manufacture your own smart-ass commentary.
And a final note: please aim your browsers at this site Thursday morning at 10 am. We’ve got something special brewing that we think you’re going to love. At least, we HOPE so.