Slipstream: Jets Strafe Caps 4-2

This pretty much sums up the night

This pretty much sums up the night. (Photo credit: Greg Fiume)

So our dads Peter and Ian decided to give your humble PuckBuddys the keys to the RMNB-car for recaps over the next few games. Ha! We promised them not to drive at dangerously high speeds with the top down while stealing people’s mail and laughing wildly. We promise you we won’t keep that promise.

Speaking of a wild ride, Tuesday’s geshrey was whether Adam Oates would pull his Caps back together under his new system, or whether they would revert to old ways/panic. Would this be the first home opener loss since the turn of the century? Would we rally from the Bolts shellacking and figure out our PK? Would Ribiero perform? Would Lady Mary really marry cousin Matthew? We have our answers.

10:02 in the 1st, Matt Hendricks gets the pass from Nicky for the first home score in almost a year, with a big crash o’ the net. That’s answered at 12:34 into the first, on a power play when the nasty Evander Kane sunk one on Holtby, unassisted. Andrew Ladd sinks a direct bullet at 16:26 – right through a non-existent Caps defense and a tired-looking Holtby (there, I said it.)

Second frame brought out a little toughness from both sides, with hopes on a Dustin Byfuglian penalty, yielding nothing. Kane knocks to Blake Wheeler, who then taps in at 14:32 to take the Jets up 3-1. PuckBuddys start crying. And then oh-noes: with less than a minute left, Slater tips in a dribbler for a boo-bird 4-1. Everyone grab your junk as Hendy puts Slater down after the horn; Verizon hall yawns.

In the third, an early Capitals power play nets Troy (handsome) Brouwer in the bin and washes out our chances. Remember when we were up in this game?  haha. Caps swarm to save Braden Holtby half-way in, which almost raises our spirits. Hendy tries to rally the team; nothing juicy follows. A spit more than 1 minute left, Troy-Boy (off Ribiero) swags it in but gives the Jets a PP.

JETS BEAT CAPS 4-2.

  • On Your Toes: There’s really no question here; our Caps are just looking tired on their feet. The stars are asleep and the back-ups are napping. Mike Green ? John Carlson? Are you there?
  • D-Men in Demand: Like last season, we’ve come to expect that the first line isn’t going to  save us. We instead look to Poti, Ward, and lately, to some degree, Crabb and Brouwer. What the hell is happening in front of the Caps net? We’ve seen Amsterdam professionals who were more open, if you follow. “Unappealing” is how Joe B. described it; we agree.
  • Vortex of Awful: We’ve written before of the cold, dead hole of hopelessness that is Winnipeg. And sadly in their first season, they did much to confirm this. Evander Kane, tubby but dependable Dustin Byfuglian, badd-Ladd; they just had their way with us this evening. That’s as much a comment on them as it is us. No, wait: it reflects worse on us. See previous.
  • Good Kabongs: We saw a couple good hits this game, as we have every meeting with the Manitoba Bruisers. That includes Nick Backstrom who just laid down the Scandinavian hammer on Mark Stuart; or as Joe B. described it, “issues with Stuart.” It wasn’t Sasha bongos, but it was a start. Memo to Matt Hendricks: we love you, but don’t pick a dumb fight after the bell. And we wish it wasn’t just you.
  • Who’s Home?: Our DC Caps operatives code named “Michele” (heh) and “Dave” (secret, huh?) report that Verizon was less than full. “Inaugural hangover,” they said. “Naked” they said. “Why are we not shooting the puck?,”  we said.
  • Don’t Panic: As in, it took exactly one game before “fans” started calling for #fireeveryone. It only gets uglier now.
  • Welcome Home: We haven’t seen hockey in Verizon for 258 days. Since then, Verizon has hosted the Washington International Horse Show, Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champs (or as we call it, Spandex Ballet) JBeibs, Dylan and The Who (not on the same bill), WWE Raw and assorted hoops games. Don’t make us regret all these nobodies (yes Mr. Dylan we said that.)
  • Unleash the Furies: A season or two back the Caps were famous for electric come-backs, as the home crowd unleashed the fury. Now we rely on this? If you have to unleash anything at three points behind, just check into the nearest Green Turtle and pretend the hot girl at the bar likes you. Heck, why not? Let’s just pretend everything. #worried.
What am I, Nathan Detroit?

Joe B suit of the night

What Did We Learn Tonight (WDWLT): Capitals – who is your spirit animal? Cheetah or slow loris? Are we rabid greyhounds or slobbering retrievers? If this were an inaugural, it would be poo-poohed with huge open spaces in front the net, poor action on the offense and incoherent strategy. And I thought Ian and Peter promised us a fun win.

What’s Next: So we camp out at home, practice one day and get our jocks in order for Thursday against le Canadiens. Le Flambeau and what what. Honestly, we like the way this sets up now, at least if we have a little more step in our offense and way WAY biggs action from our D-men. Otherwise: WE WERE RIGHT BRING BACK BOUDREAU. Just sayin’.

See you Thursday! Don’t blame us!

  • http://twitter.com/Starscreamdacat Kyle Millhouse

    Hendricks goal was a pass from Nicky not Ovi

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Thanks, Kyle! We fixed.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Not sure about you guys, but I’m, um, worried.

  • JH

    I thought folks were a bit overwrought after the Tampa loss. I’m starting to catch the bug. If this were a normal season I wouldn’t be #worried but given it’s such a short season I am – alas – #worried. No one on the Caps scares the other team any more. Not even Ovi – the other team just swarms him. When we play Tampa, as soon as Stamkos, Lecavalier or the Midget touch the puck I get a bout of angina. Not to mention when we play the Pens and Crosby or Malkin have the puck.
    I could go on, but I hope we can turn things around soon. Crash the net.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fingerhut.1 Eric Fingerhut

    So am I. Might this just be who the Caps are now, whoever the coach is? Sure, they had a nice stretch in the playoffs, but games like tonight were way too frequent last year as well. (Remember getting smoked by the Sharks, or getting shutout 5-0 by the Devils, or getting pounded by the Bruins on Super Bowl Sunday, or losing 5-1 to the Sabres in late March.) There’s not enough depth either up front or on defense, and the stars aren’t as good as they used to be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1005713165 Pat Magee

    Can’t freak out. We’ve only had one week of camp to implement a new coach and system. Not to mention, our best player is still hurt! Brooks is the glue that holds these guys together, and everyone knows it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1005713165 Pat Magee

    I also wanna add that in the 3rd, the Ovi-Nicky-Wolski line was actually looking pretty descent.

  • 28IS(still)GREAT

    Too soon to say what’s going on. But I can assure you it’s not Semin’s fault.

  • lrhflute

    Brooks better heal himself right quick! WE MISS YOU, BROOKS!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Freedoooom Chase

    http://imageshack.us/a/img809/1812/hendo.gif

    Hendricks… Ovechkin probably would of been yelling at him if it wasn’t for the goal earlier. He still slammed his stick on the ice…

    Just really shows that just because someone tries hard doesn’t mean they are good.

  • Yo8

    It wasn’t a pass but a rebound. That was meant to be a Nicky goal from an Ovi assist. He still gets secondary assist.

  • kemiisto

    I agree that it’s not Oates’ fault.

    This season we finally have 2nd line center but we don’t have enough good wingers to play even in the 1st line. Seems like Johansson
    is not ready for this role and honestly I don’t see any other candidate.

    Surprisingly we can still score goals but the goaltending is just horrible. :-( Holtby did’t stand the test of being #1 from the very begging of the season. He is nervous, slow and can’t read very simple plays. It was so easy for him at the end of the last season when nobody expect a lot from him. He was relaxed and (as a result I believe) focused at the same time. But now the expectations are so high and seems like he is not up to this task. At least right now. Maybe he is just too young. And maybe Neuvy was actually right that Braden is his weakest competitor.

  • kemiisto

    If we are talking about offense we need excellent winger for the 1st line. With all due respect to Brooksy I don’t think he can be that one. I do believe that Beagle can be a better option for the 1st line. Put Ovi back to the left wing and try Beagle in the 1st line on the right. Or stick to Ovi-Backs-Wolski. They looked pretty good together last night.

  • Eric G

    That fight may have been strategically useless but that arena was *dead* until it happened. The fans were booing and Hendy knew that something was necessary to breathe some life back into the attending fans.

    It is unfortunate that it took two fights to do it, but it was obvious that goal scoring was not going to come easy–especially after Pavelec made some serious robbery stops in the third once some offensive pressure was put on.

  • Eric G

    The epitome of a sophomore slump.

  • serpent

    Hi, Doug! Great to hear from you again. Wish you had something better to write about than the Sominex Sequence here. Caps need to re-read the memo re the PK,PP and just about everything else associated with getting their collective butts in gear and putting the bloody puck in the bloody net.

  • http://twitter.com/Dara_Laine Dara Goldberg

    I think two games is a little soon to say Holtby isn’t up to the task. Especially when the D in front of him is so atrocious.

  • breaklance

    brooks laich > 5 beagles on the top line. beags is just fine where he is but the top line needs net presence and puck possession. neither of which are coming from ovi or nicky atm – beags, laich, mj90 or wolski won’t fix that. 8 and 19 need to fix that by playing like the stars they are supposed to be. Nicky got lucky with that deflection of hendy (who was amazingly at the bakery, coincidence? i think not) and a secondary assist awarded for Ribs making a good(almost star quality) pass to set up TFB on the pp.