Photo credit: Nick Wass

With fewer than 20 games left, the Washington Capitals badly needed a win from the Philadelphia Flyers to stay competitive. This Sunday night rendezvous held pretty high stakes for the Caps, and the team responded with a distinguished effort. But effort ain’t goals.

After a scoreless first period, Eric Wellwood redirected an outside shot from Pavel Kubina to make it 1-0. That’s the whole story. Flyers beat Caps 1-0.

  • The way Alex Ovechkin moved in to check Pavel Kubina before that first goal is a damning example of his insouciance on defense. If Ovi had his stick on the ice or his hips squared to Kubina, that would not have been a goal.
  • CSN’s Chuck Gormley reported that Ovechkin missed the next 7:26. Is this accountability from Coach Hunter? If you listen to some people, that’s what cost Boudreau his job. Oh dear, this is all we’re gonna be reading on Monday, isn’t it?
  • Ovechkin still had 7 shots, 6 hits, a bunch of scoring chances, and one empty net save. Let’s not blow this up too much.
  • Round of drinks for the smallfolk: Jay Beagle and Dmitry Orlov  both were contributing to the offense while limiting chances against. Beagle had a few net-crashing moments, and Orlov’s slappers created some panic for Bryz up front.
  • FIGHT: Troy Brouwer vs. Scott Hartnell. Go for the hockey violence, stay for the dramatically flowing orange curls.
  • Jason Chimera got blown up by Wayne Simmonds in the second period. On tilt after that, Chimera got away with a slash on Claude Giroux’s writst. Then he slammed the bench door (that door had a big night) and had a hissy fit. Chimera was your only player with a minor penalty all night. The refs just sorta phoned it in.
  • Mike Knuble made his return loud and clear. 4 hits, 2 shots, and one great breakaway that Ilya Bryzgalov just barely refused. That should be enough for another start. Should.
  • Four shots of Jaromir Jagr. No goals. Screw Jagr blah blah blah. Our heart’s just not in it.
  • Bad luck > Ilya Bryzgalov. The weirdo still got 34 saves though. Obviously, the humangous big universe is on his side.

The Florida Panthers won on Sunday. The Caps are 5 points back.

The Capitals now have a shutout problem. Even with some solid goaltending, they didn’t put up enough offense.  That makes two full hours without a goal. The “on-ice product” is pretty crappy right now. I’d check the manufacturer’s warranty.

Yeah. It seems Mike Knuble’s curse has spread to the whole team. That’s probably bad news for one of these guys…

  • pjorgy

    Ovechkin played puck-hogging hockey today. Every time the first line crossed the neutral zone he would blatantly call for the puck. So ridiculous. 

  • JessHughes

    Excellent use of the word “insouciance.”  Every season is going to have those games where you give great effort but aren’t rewarded, but the Caps have played dreadfully too many times to afford the luxury of unlucky.

  • Peter

    HEADS UP: That’s a fainting goat. Not a dead goat. I’m rude, but not that rude.

  • J.P.

    Good recap, but let’s not over-hype Kanoobs. That breakaway was 10 kinds of weak sauce when it needed to be 10 kinds of awesome sauce. He hasn’t finished all year, which is why he’s been relegated to chief nacho inspector….

  • Peter

    luck, not skill

    if you think his demotion was just, then we don’t have much to discuss

  • Best-fan-ever

    Meh – these guys just aren’t invested. Let’s start again fresh in the fall.

  • Dark Stranger

    Song for this season, especially after this night: Paul Simon’s “Slip Sliding Away” as a playoff berth for this season seeps slip sliding away from the Caps’ grasp.

    Of all the people to give up a goal to …. Wellwood, who scored his 2nd goal of the year.  Makes me mad.

    Brouwer getting into a fight with Hartnall accomplished one good thing, regardless of the outcome, provided no one got hurt — it removed their best scorer off the ice for 5+ minutes, which can only be a good thing.  While Brouwer is one of our better scorers this year, his productivity’s no where near Hartnall’s.  (BTW, it’s VERY depressing to me that Hartnall is so much more productive than Ovi and Semin this year.  Would anyone have ever suggested trading Hartnall for Ovi straight up?  Naw.)

    Where oh where has the Caps’ offense gone?  We’re where we were before Backstrom joined the team — as in out of the playoff picture.

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  • serpent

    Actually, our Caps are being quite considerate of the fan base here. They are self- destructing BEFORE the playoffs instead of getting our hopes up and our little hearts pounding at the thought of–gasp!!–the Cup!

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