Riding high on an eight-game win streak, the Washington Capitals had all kinds of confidence before their game at the home of the Ottawa Senators. Confidence apparently doesn’t translate into puck possession, as the Capitals got totally tyrannized by the Senators. The Capitals had only a nominal offense and seemed to be suffering from some rare disease that you see on House that disables your ability to pass the puck. Meanwhile, the Senators were smothering and aggressive and a pretty darn hockey team. Don’t wanna see them in the first round playoffs– knock on Joel Rechlicz’s stick.
Senators beat Caps 3-1.
- I missed most of the last two Caps games. Everyone tells me they’re a good hockey team, but what I saw tonight is what the francophones would call le garbage.
- The first period was muy soñoliento. Wait, we’re in French Canadia: Très somnolent. The Caps held the Sens shotless on two soft-call power plays, but the Caps offered precious little offense. My precious timeonice.com is down, but it was pretty apparent that Ottawa was tilting the ice big-time. Some great work in the crease by Braden Holtby kept the game scoreless through twenty.
- But the Caps’ insouciance towards offense continued in the second period. Playing almost exclusively in their own end, the Caps probably weren’t surprised when Kyle Turris eventually beat Holtby blocker side to make it 1-0.
- Holtby got an P90X workout all night, particularly when Chris Neil beat him on the backhand but rang the post. Holtby covered that one and had to do Travolta-esque splits right after. Holtby was active all night, and got run on more than one occasion.
- Martin Erat, who is apparently an actual hockey player for the Washington Capitals, batted down a high puck and sent it laterally to Mike Ribeiro, who put the Caps on the board with a layup. Erat, who drives play, might be a good complement for Ribeiro, who is riding dirty as a passenger on that line but has finishing skills.
- So get this. Holtby got the puck behind his net and then made a blind pass up the boards to a guy in a red uniform, which would’ve been fine in a home game. Instead, Cory Conacher scored an unassisted empty-net goal to re-establish the Senators lead. No one has named a child Cory since 1990, by the way. He was the last one. Anyway, Holtby pulled the same move half a minute later, although he seemed to be looking that time. I’m not saying Holtby was bad– far from it, but the onslaught of this game’s first half and that one goof coulda been reason enough to give him a break for the night. He deserved a better team in front of him.
- Nick Backstrom took no shifts after the 12-minute mark of the third period. So… yeah… not good. We’ll keep an eye on that one, as we know pretty well what a Caps team without Nick Backstrom looks like. Update: Stephen Whyno says Backstrom was hit a by a shot by Mike Green.
- Who is this Craig Anderson person?
Here’s one thing I can’t allow: “Braden Holtby lost this game for the Caps.” Nu-uh. Ottawa put overwhelming shot volume on Holtby, while Washington could hardly be bothered to fire a shot even when behind in the third period. This was one of those puck-possession blowouts that can’t be overcome unless your team is scoring on every other shot. The skaters lost this one.
Don’t look at the out-of-town scoreboard, guys. It looks like the Jets are within striking distance of the division lead– even after an 8-game win streak. Next week’s game against the Dirty Peg is gonna be intense.
This sucks. I miss two games, Gordon writes about all kinds of crazy Ovi goals and stuff, and now I’m stuck with the bummer loss. Not as if my personal suck comes close to the universal suck in the world this week, but yeah this sucks. I blame congress. Crash the net next time.
Programming note: I’ll be attending the PuckBuddys party at Nellie’s on Saturday. Come buy me a beer and watch me spaz out trying to cover the game and be social at the same time.