Thursday, April 14, 2011

Knee-Capped

The Washington Capitals won a tense 2-1 overtime victory over the NY Rangers. The game winning goal came at 18:24 of the overtime, when a Marc Staal turnover led to Jason Arnott setting-up Alexander Semin in the slot for a one-timer that he ripped by Lundqvist.

You certainly can't blame Staal alone for the loss, he'd been a workhorse all night, playing a bruising 33:48 mostly against Alexander Ovechkin. Drury's failure to clear the puck before Staal's flub was equally fatal.

Ovechkin's goal with only 6:16 remaining in the game was a knee-capping of the first order. Ovechkin got to the front of the Rangers net and then gets to bang away at Lundqvist's kneecaps for a couple of minutes until the puck trickles in. You would think Dubinsky, Stepan or Fedotenko might have had a notion to lay a body on the rampaging Russian? I guess not.

Ovechkin said: “I just try to hit something. It goes in.” The Ovie goal spoiled a splendid game from the King.

Marian Gaborik, our would-be goal scorer, did some peppering of Neuvirth, but the seasoning was not baked in.  So yet again, Gaborik serves us some more cold gruel.

When the Rangers lose the shot-blocking battle, 28-32, to the Caps you know they are going to have a tough night.

Jaspers' Rink:

32 - blocked shots for the Caps in Game 1 of their Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers, the most they've had in any playoff game under Bruce Boudreau. During the 2010-11 season, the Caps had the seventh-highest shot block total in the League with 1257; the Rangers were fourth with 1301...
Some other thoughts that I want to echo:

Carp / Rangers Report Blog:
I think Sean Avery has to find his way back into the lineup. Don’t know if he’d go in for Erik Christensen, who was on the perimeter again, or for Mats Zuccarello, who took the early penalty and barely played thereafter...
Scotty Hockey:
Brandon Prust won't make it into the three stars but he did put forth a very Prustian effort. Gilroy's goal was all because of his forecheck and he helped the Rangers match the Caps physicality.
Hockey Rodent:
I saw a lot of poise out of youngsters with precious little postseason experience once they got those butterflies out of their systems in the first intermission.
And some stuff that makes me worry...

Homer McFanboy:
Semin now has six goals in eight postseason games against Lundqvist, so maybe this is the psychological edge the Caps’ offense needs to get rolling in the playoffs.
----
All in all, a painful loss that feels like it should have been a win.

ICINGS:



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7 comments:

  • Section 335 said...
     

    We needed to win one of the first two games. We still do. Nothing has changed.

  • Dan Stryker said...
     

    Reading the reports from practice this morning... more line changes... The first game into the playoffs and this coach is STILL trying to figure out the lines...

    Sigh...

    Game #2 is a must win IMO.

  • Anonymous said...
     

    Play Avery

  • jb said...
     

    Next game is huge. Lose that and the fat lady is warming up her voice with some scales.

    I was just reading those same stories about the line changes. I did a Homer Simpson D'oh!
    What is it with these bloody line changes every game? The Master Tinkerer is going to tinkle away this series.

    Yes, play Avery.

  • slashman said...
     

    The Caps have more weapons. Drury for Callahan is a big net loss. Losing the majority of faceoffs will come back and bite the Rangers in the ass. I do not get a warm and fuzzy.

  • blow-me-down said...
     

    "Marian Gaborik, our would-be goal scorer, did some peppering of Neuvirth, but the seasoning was not baked in."

    Great line, and so true. I'm not sure what Gaborik is about these days. It's not like he makes no effort at all, but he just isn't dangerous.

    The huge gulf between the talent level of the two teams was evident, but I feel good overall about game 1. They have to fix some of the things they did wrong a lot (clearing the zone) but I think they can leave Washington tied up.

    Definitely put Avery in. I really am getting tired of Tortorella's neurotic line tweaking.
    It's the playoffs and we would like the Rangers to put out the best they have.

  • jb said...
     

    When we first obtained Gaborik I mispronounced his name as Ga-bore-ick. I am thinking of going back to that pronunciation.

    The NY Post today referred to the Rangers as "coach John Tortorella's gulag workers" vs. the Bolshoi. Grunts versus dancers, the grunts have a chance if they keep doing their grunt thing and don't even think about dancing.

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