Caps Beat Canes 4-3 (OT)! Two for Mike Green!

He didn't score, but he always makes for a good photo! (Greg Fiume/NHLI via Getty Images)

He didn't score, but he always makes for a good photo! (Greg Fiume/NHLI via Getty Images)

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.”
(beat)
“He looks like you, Peter.”
“DAMMIT, ERIN!”

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.

  • Mary K

    Ohh, the suspense until 10am!

  • Hale

    Peter, I don’t know which Caps games you’ve been watching, but your bullet on Semin is mostly just worng. He has been playing very well, shooting a lot, playing well defensively (great PK work), and showing fire. The penalty last night was weak, weak, weak. Yeah, the shootout attempt was unfortunate, but pretty clear his skate caught a rut. If all you look at is blooper material, then I can see how you would reach your conclusion. If you watch whole games, the conclusion would be different, as it seems to be for most people who have commented elsewhere. Show me the “alarming frequency?”

  • Rich

    With both your point and Hale’s point on Semin aside, one thing has always bothered me. Ever notice how whenever Ovie touches the puck you hear the crowd “ooo!” and all the seats in verizon center flop up? I love that, but my issue is this: a large number of those times, nothing but an attempt and a turnover comes out of Ovie’s charges. And that’s understandable. he’s good. not infallible. Semin is much less of a bull-like presence charging down the ice but his hands are incredible and watching him finesse around a D man is just as exciting as seeing Ovie run him down and turn him silly. Many Semin’s attempts also go awry. The difference is in the fan’s reaction. “oh! Semin! typical! Gah.” Just saying. He is underrated and overcriticized because his style of play is less agressive and frankly he is not as tough as ovie. His true birghtness is dimmed in Ovie’s shadow.

  • Бойтесь 8!

    When Semin is playing at his best, he is at least as good on offense as Ovie is and maybe a little better on defense (except for hitting). Nobody including Semin hits as hard as Ovie. (Ask Jagr.) The difference is that when Ovie has an “off” game, he’s still working his tail off, making big hits and is one of the best players on the ice. When Semin’s off, he sucks, and you don’t know he’s in the game until he makes a bonehead turnover or commits a penalty.

  • Peter

    @Hale,

    I’m a huge Semin defender, but I can’t drink the kool-aid and ignore his faults completely. He’s so energetic that he commits dumb stick penalties, often in the offensive zone. The stats support this. Thanks for the feedback,

    P

  • Peter

    @Rich,

    You’re SO right. When Ovie’s crossing the blue line, he’ll get stopped by a simple pokecheck 8 times out of 10. One time he’ll get pushed to the outside and fight in the corners. The last time he’ll do something so mindblowingly awesome that we’ll go apecrazy the next time around!

    Thanks for the note,
    P