Sunday, April 17, 2011

Game 3 Recap

Well that's my bad. I made the ballsy move of actually having faith in my team for the first time in 11 months, and was rewarded by having half of my predicted score come true. Unfortunately, the other half did not, and the Capitals lose 3-2 in regulation to the Rangers. Five thoughts on the game:
  1. Neuvirth has to stop that first goal. This has been an issue of his all season. The kid routinely fails to close off the posts, particularly the three-hole. It is not the first time a terrible shot has gone in against him  on a penalty kill. The announcers on NBC rightfully spent a good portion of the game tearing him apart for letting that goal in, among other mistakes of a rookie goalie. He gave up far too many juicy rebounds, as he did when he first came into the NHL. Normally, I would expect to see Varlamov in net next game, but knowing Boudreau, Neuvirth will not have lost his chance.

  2. It is refreshing to see that the special teams are getting the job done. The penalty kill only allowed one goal on seven penalties, including both an extended 5-on-3 and a very brief one. The only goal against cannot be attributed to the skaters, as, again, Neuvy absolutely has to stop a shot from that angle. The powerplay was a refreshing one for three tonight, courtesy of another hard working effort from Knuble.

  3. I know, buddy. I know.
    Speaking of penalties, Boudreau certainly seemed to have a valid complaint with the "ticky-tack" goals, given that this was a crucial Game 3. The Caps took eight penalties to the Rangers four, including offsetting minors at the end of the game. Some of them you can't avoid calling, like Knuble's delay of game. The holding against Hannan, though? That's a call that the refs need to let slide, and in fact usually do even during the regular season.

  4. The Caps were again out-shot, this time pretty badly. Team good guys took 25 shots, while team bad guys took 35. Lundqvist is not a rookie or a fluky goalie. Washington needs to shoot the puck more, crash the net more, and shoot the puck some more. Getting out-shout by an undeniably less offensively gifted team cannot be accepted in the playoffs. Still a big blip on my S-list radar: Jason Chimera. Friday's game-winning goal scorer had a whopping zero shots on net tonight, played the third-lowest ice time on the team, and was incredibly invisible all night. Again, I would like to think that Fehr would see some ice in Game 4, but sadly I do not really think it will happen.
    And while Semin took a team-leading six shots on goal without being rewarded with a point, at least his luck wasn't as bad as that of the Rangers' Brian Boyle, who took a game-high nine shots on goal, had no points, and finished a -1.

  5. Line-juggling is "in" again with Boudreau. Semin, Laich, and Sturm were playing on all kinds of lines today, with all kinds of linemates. Team chemistry, in theory, has been Boudreau's goal all season, but looking back on the relatively static lines in the team's wins compared with the more fluid lines in tonight's loss and those from last year's series, I still cannot agree with BB's preferred method of searching for chemistry.
And for your amusement.

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