Len Redkoles

Photo credit: Len Redkoles

Guys, I’m literally rewriting this right after the final buzzer. No time for poetry. I mean freaking come on. The Washington Capitals shoulda beat the Philadelphia Flyers. They had a lead and then nuked it from orbit in the final minutes. Philly forced OT and stole two points. iwe bgiwe9w7ebciwebiwqyd k24g I haven’t seen a disaster like this since the Fist of the First Men.

This one hurts.

Flyers beat Caps 5-4 (Overtime)

  • Nick Backstrom scored a pretty goal in his 400th game. Occupying the low slot, Backstrom tipped in a waist-level shot from Jack Hillen. It was also Hillen’s first point as a Cap– in his 10th game.
  • The Flyers evened it up shortly after, as Max Talbot, utterly open in the slot, bulged the net on a pass from known heel Zac Rinaldo. Alzner and Green didn’t have remotely enough gusto in their own zone.
  • The Caps didn’t have remotely enough anything in their own zone a few minutes later — giving Matt Read mucho space on a breakaway goal to make it 2-1.  Like Frankovic said, it doesn’t matter how good your team’s possession is if your defense keeps breaking down.
  • The Flyers fans thought they had a third goal, but Wayne Simmonds powerslamming Braden Holtby a few seconds earlier kinda nullified it. Claude Giroux, whom I love, held the puck on the next face off, giving the Caps a full two minutes of 5-on-3 for them to utterly squander like a per diem in Las Vegas. The Caps are in the bottom third of teams when it comes to generating shots with the two-man advantage.
  • The Caps power play was a stinky diaper (with the exception of that one in the third). I said in my halfway post that the shot generation on PP wasn’t high enough to keep the team among the league’s best, and it seems that’s happened. I’d have rather been wrong.
  • The flip side of that coin is much more shiny. The Caps PK limited the Flyers to 4 shots and 0 goals over 6 power play minutes through the first 40.
  • Mike Green finished serving a holding penalty late in the second. Brooks Laich saw him exit the gate and threaded him a long pass. Green glided into the Flyers zone and scored a lovely tying goal. Green has missed huge chunks of the last three seasons, and Laich came back just last week. And because it’s Philly, you should have seen this next bullet coming…
  • Max Talbot took aim and laid into Mike Green along the boards. Green dodged the hit, and Talbot seemed to land awkwardly, apparently injuring his knee (although Whyno thinks Green may have cut ‘em). Lady Byng Anti-Monitor Zac Rinaldo was for some reason incensed by Talbot’s self-injury and so, naturally, he charged Green. Sometimes I wonder if Steve Downie went to the Avalanche because the Eastern Conference couldn’t withstand two of these guys.
  • Steve Oleksy delivered a blistering but clean hit to Giroux in the third period. Jakub Voracek then mugged Oleksy without taking off his visor. That’s a double minor, homes. Marcus Johansson scored on the first half after Claude Giroux choked. Alex Ovechkin scored from the Ovi spot on the second half. So the power play kinda turned it around, eh?
  • Ovi’s point streak is now at 8 games. 6 shots on net.
  • The Flyers engineered a B.S. icing call in the final seconds. That offensive-zone draw led to the game-tying goal in the waning seconds– an eerie reversal of Saturday night and a reminder that a team who often wins by a razor’s edge also loses by the same margin.
Joe B suit of the night

Joe B suit of the night

This is not the recap I wanted to write. I had this whole thing about being in the playoff picture for the first time since the mid 80s, but Philly had other plans. Lots of deleting up in RMNBHQ tonight.

The Caps are now one point out of  Eighth place. We should divest ourselves of the notion that they’re gonna jockey for a lottery draft pick. It ain’t happening. That doesn’t mean this team is built to go far in the playoffs, but neither was Hunter’s crew last year, and they still gave us 14 damn fun games.

Real quick. Scenarios from best to worst: Caps win the Cup. Caps make playoffs and go deep. Caps get lottery pick. Caps make playoffs and lose early. Caps miss playoffs just barely. Caps all develop synthetic cannabinoid habit.

Tonight’s game is a good example of how this version of the Caps isn’t really going to hit either of those first two cases. I’d love it if they were strong enough to be the team to grab and sustain a two-goal lead, but it doesn’t seem likely. Losses like this happen to all teams, but only smart teams learn from ‘em.

We now enter maybe the most important week of the Caps franchise this year. Deadline is Wednesday.

You buying?

  • Spoons

    I need a gif of me beating the crap out of garbage can with a baseball bat…because this is about the 10th time this week I could have used it :|

  • JenniferH

    My heart is broken. SO CLOSE!

  • Dark Stranger

    Why do the Caps have this habit of giving up so many goals in the last minute when the opponents have an empty net? It’s happened all too often. And, in just about every game, Caps end up losing in OT.

  • Bucky Katt

    Not just that but the impotent 5 on 3′s. Good Lord!

  • Ash

    Actually, I believe the Caps have the LEAST amount of OT losses in the league.

  • Toronto Caps Fan

    Why on earth is double nickel on the ice with less than 5 minutes left?!!? Sigh can’t believe they scratched Orlov for him…. oh well onto Carolina

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

    At least we got a point out of it!!!! I would credit Giroux for stepping up and making up for his huge mistake, rather than blame our boys. Tuesday night’s tilt is gonna be huge, regardless!

  • Owen

    Why is he on the ice at all?

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryantpthomas Bryant Thomas

    i’m gonna buy on the ” Caps all develop synthetic cannabinoid habit.”

    damn that K2/Spice

  • Kevin

    Favorite moment of the game was listening the wise Craig Laughlin explain that 5 on 3s are harderd to score on than most people think. Sorry either Laughlin is told he can’t say negative things about the team or he is the dumbest color man in the business. May be a bit if both.

  • http://twitter.com/annielockyer Annie Lockyer

    Buy. I’d rather root for a miracle than take paltry satisfaction in predicting a near certain collapse.

  • https://twitter.com/Haddaweezy Holy_Cal

    I love the caps as much as the next guy, but I’m glad we didn’t get the two points. It’s time to start realising this current roster is not a playoff team and winning games is beginning to hurt us in the long run.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    This season, all teams:

    5v4: average of 6.3 goals / 60 minutes
    5v3: average of 20.5 goals / 60 minutes

    So I guess it’s about 3x easier to score on 5v3.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I hate that I love Giroux

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Yeah I think I said something like that on a podcast earlier. Definitely bottom 5 in OTL points.

  • http://www.facebook.com/seahorsewoman Shelley Johnson

    me too.

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

    Amen.

  • Yv

    Again, when opponents score 3+ goals Caps losing even when leading 4:2, the record now 4-17-2 with only 1 regulation win. This rule becoming so unbreakable, that probably for the first time in modern history, Caps lost when Ovi, Nicky and MG52 scored goals(. One can only hope that this lost point as well as to Isles would be not a killer.

  • Ash

    Yep. Problem hasn’t been losing in OT; it’s that we never seemed to get to OT.

  • Catherine

    Thank you. I thought maybe I was stupid for thinking he was insane for saying that. Never having played hockey and being fairly sports illiterate, I was *sort of* thinking there was a possibility he wasn’t totally bat guano.

  • GuestZ

    As opposed to what was mentioned in the pre-game, personally I love their colors. And since half my family is in/around Pennsyltuckey, I choose these clowns over the alternate choice.

  • Toronto Caps Fan

    LOL touche

  • GuestZ

    you can say that 532 more times…

  • Hockeynightincanada

    However you look at it I guess. I’m in between, but I know for sure that I don’t want McPhee being the guy in charge of making the moves in the future.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    I’m usually one of the more negative fans on here, but after not giving the Caps props for last night’s comeback I’ll say the Caps had a fair two games this weekend. Really shouldn’t have won last night and vice versa tonight….so 3 points were in order.

  • maveric101

    So with those stats, having a 2 minute 5v3 should result in a goal 2 out
    of every 3 times, or 67%. So it’s not TOO ridiculous to not score on a
    5v3.

  • maveric101

    How does that stat compare to other teams? It’s not exactly mindblowing that it’s harder to win when the other team scores goals.

  • http://twitter.com/Freedoooom Chase

    I kinda find it interesting that any dirty hit against a Capitals player, pretty much goes unnoticed. The hit on Schultz before the icing call was clear boarding on top of the fact he left his feet.

  • Yv

    That’s true, this statistics is just telling that Caps can’t allow 3d goal in the game. Other teams, who in playoffs position, either giving 3+ goals in much less games than Caps, and/or still managing to collect much more points than Caps in those games, somewhere between 30-40+% to Caps 20-22%, like TOR (4-10-4).

  • http://www.facebook.com/djsalo Christoffer Salo Salomonsson

    the icing-call was a bad one.. but the penalty on brouwer was even worse..

  • serpent

    10 FREAKIN’ SECONDS AND THEY CAN’T HOLD ON?! ARGHHH!!

  • dcv

    Yes, but most people think it’s 30 goals / 60 minutes on 5v3, so he’s right that it’s harder than that.

  • Rhino40

    The Flyers engineered a B.S. icing call in the final seconds. That offensive-zone draw led to the game-tying goal in the waning seconds– an eerie reversal of Saturday night and a reminder that a team who often wins by a razor’s edge also loses by the same margin.
    Again Peter sees the truth all others seem to have missed.
    IMHO, it was that phantom icing–more than anything else–which cost the Caps the game. If that play had been called correctly, Philthy has to leave their offensive zone completely, thus negating a precious few seconds of their 6-on-5…seconds which–without that tying Philthy goal–close out regulation time with a 4-3 Caps. win. instead they got to hang out and take their time engineering a set play from the face-off while the Caps were forbidden to change. Again, without the phantom icing, there is no OT and the Caps win.