Monday, December 5, 2011

Caps @ Cats Recap, 12/5/11

Two-post night for me, so pardon the brevity of each. Not a whole lot of leadup necessary for my thoughts, so here they are:
  • Michal Neuvirth is looking more like the goalie I thought he was. Five goals against tonight, a couple of which he definitely should have had and three in the first period, continue a pretty terrible season for him so far. Not to say he didn't make some nice saves, but every goalie does every night, that's why they are in the NHL. He continues to bite way too hard when shooters skate wide, leaving waaayy too much of the net open behind him (See Goal #5 for reference), and falls into his butterfly position too early. The other teams are on to him, shoot for the top-right, and you'll probably score (See goals 1, 2, 3, and 5 for reference). Dave Prior is not working out as a good replacement for Arturs Irbe, who actually replaced Prior in the first place...
  • Jason Chimera continues his best-ever season, and putting him with Brooks Laich and Joel Ward looks like a genius move more and more as the season goes on. The offense is still there on the team, it just isn't where we thought it was. Then again, we knew Laich could score, that Chimera could skate, and that Ward had it in him (at least in one playoff series), so maybe this all should not be as surprising as it has been. So at least there is one bright spot on the team.
  • John Carlson had a helluva night, himself. Eight shots on net, three assists, a +3, and 26:04 of ice time. Wideman, too, had a helluva night, just not in quite the same way. Team-leading 29:00 of ice time, including 5:29 of shorthanded time on a night that saw three PPG against, two shots on net, no points, and a -1. Wideman, at times, has looked like a valuable addition to the team, and I honestly think he is, but a healthy Mike Green will lessen the burden on Wideman and allow him to be put back in his comfort zone.
  • Speaking of what'll happen when Mike Green comes back, count me among those that hope it does not involve sending Dmitri Orlov back down to Hershey. His puck-handling skills are absolutely incredible, as is his willingness to lay into the other team and contribute to the offense, adding his third assist in eight game tonight. Carlson, Alzner, Green, and Wideman are likely all guaranteed spots when #52 returns, and Hamrlik will likely keep his sweater, too. It might be time to move Schultz or Erskine to make room for #81. Definitely a situation to watch in the coming weeks.
  • Have to give credit where it is due: the Weiss-Fleischmann-Versteeg line continued to show just how dominant they are, with each player finishing a plus-one on the night. Weiss had three points with two on the PP, and Fleischmann assisted on Weiss' second goal of the night, which ended up as the game winner. Fleischmann, a former capital and "failed" 2C experiment, has been a point-per-game player since being traded out of Washington last season, earning 49 points in 49 games as of tonight. I, for one, always thought that if he played some solid minutes that he would perform, and I am happy to see that he is doing both these days. I would still rather the Caps won, but part of that is proper player management. I don't care what some of the more popular Washington bloggers say, moving Flash was a mistake, and I think the continued problems on the second line are evidence that the team is still paying for it. Here's hoping those issues are resolved sooner rather than later.
So the Capitals are now 1-3 under new coach Dale Hunter, allowing more than two goals for the first time, and against the team currently leading their division. Hunter was brought in, presumably, to make some changes. So far, I'm not sure that many have been made. I hope tonight was more of a fluke in a new system than more of the same from the old one, but the Caps should be a lot better than this. There is still time to right the ship, but losing division games is not a good way to start the healing. Next up, another game against Ottawa on Wednesday. Hopefully the boys can get Hunter his first regulation win and his first road win in the same game.

No comments:

Post a Comment