Beagle is out of the doghouse do you get it doghouse his last name is a breed of dog. (Photo: Patrick Smith)
How was your Thanksgiving? Did you have a relaxing day full of casual conversation and limited stress? Weird, the Caps did the same thing on Friday night against the Montreal Canadiens. Showing no signs of fixing their endemic and fairly obvious problems, the Caps gave away the lead with a slow start, allowed a goal right after they scored, and still got a W. How about that?
Danny Briere got denied on a wraparound attempt but forced it through Holtby’s five-hole for the only goal of the first period. Mikhail Grabovski cut Peter Budaj’s purse in the second and alleyed Eric Fehr’s oop to tie the game, but Tomas Plekanec tied it up less than two minutes later on an odd-man rush. With 5:27 left in the third, Eric Fehr set up Mikhail Grabovski for a big big big tying goal.
Into overtime we came and went. You know what’s next, right?
- Eric Fehr SUNK IT
- Eller roofed it past Holtby
- OVI SCOAR
- Desharnais went wide, then short-side to score
- Backstrom blockedstrom
- Galchenyuk denied
- Grabograbograbograbograbograbograbo grabo’d
- Plekanec refused
Caps beat Habs 3-2 in the shootout! Losing Streak OVAR!
- Michal “DiPietro” Neuvirth injured himself skating out onto this before the game. Braden Holtby got the start in his place (and Caps video coach Brett Leonhardt got his second amateur tryout contract as back-up G). That’s obviously awful news for Neuvy, who has gotten far fewer starts under Oates, who doesn’t seem as keen on a 1A-1B deal as Dale Hunter was back in 2011-2012.
- Unlike their explosive start against the Senators on Wednesday, the Capitals casually waltzed into this one. They put just 4 shots Peter Budaj in the first period, none after the first 4:20– a stretch of time that included a nearly 4-minute-long power play. Here’s the shot-attempt chart of the first period from Extra Skater– the flat blue lines are sad times for quiet reflection:
- Danny Briere‘s first-period goal was the result of hard work and the relative indifference of defensive pair Alexander Urbom and Tyson Strachan, neither of whom are really qualified for NHL defense in my estimation. It’s possible Adam Oates now realizes that as well. Urbom didn’t take a shift after that Briere goal. Here’s the goal:
- Eric Fehr. That is all. DC Cycle: goal, assist, shootout goal. <3
- The thing where the Capitals give up a goal within a minute or two of scoring is still happening and it is literally the worst thing since smallpox. 1:07 after Eric Fehr tied the game, the Habs got it back. I don’t know what to make of this. I just wanna do an arm flail and use adult language sometimes.
- It was clear that junk weren’t working late in the second, so Adam Oates shuffled his lines. I saw Fehr-Grabo-Brouwer among the new formulations. Later in the game it was Chimera-Backstrom-Ovechkin. I don’t know if anything will come of this, but considering how phlegmatic Oates has been regarding his lines, it’s certainly noteworthy.
- I dump on Marcus Johansson a lot, but he was one of the team’s best forwards on Friday. Through 40 minutes he led the Caps in shot attempts and shots on goal– and he should have scored once or twice. Ovi ended up with the most S’s on G’s, but Mojo deserves credit for giving all the doubters (e.g. me) what-for.
- The Capitals power play is colder than your grandmammy’s leftovers. Oh snappppp good burn RMNB. The Caps went 0 for 4 on Friday, generating not a whole bunch of shots on them. I counted two. Total. Two shots. One shot and then another and then that’s it, we are done counting shots.
- Eric Fehr and Mikhail Grabovski just make sense. Like peanut butter and chocolate, or peas and carrots, or whiskey and pickle juice– they just go together. Both players have been unduly unloved in recent years, but they’re both truly cock diesel. You can quote me on that.
Everytime Grabo does something awesome, let’s remember McPhee was the guy who got him over the summer. He did three awesome things tonight.
Alright. So the Caps seem to be in a bit of a rut. They haven’t won a game outright since November 17th. If the Metropolitan weren’t the meh-tropolitan, the Caps wouldn’t be in sole possession of 2nd place.
But it is, and they are. And we consider that a gift. Thank you.
With that gift, the Caps have the opportunity to fix their ailing parts– their defense, their slow starts, their shifts following goals– and enhance the stuff that is working– the power play (kinda), the whatever-line-Grabo-is-on, the Ovi. The problems aren’t all that mysterious, and the team is staffed by smart dudes who I hope can make the right calls.
So, uhhh. Maybe get on that? Maybe kinda quick since the Caps are headed to Long Island tomorrow night?
Hope you guys had a happy Thanksgiving!