Friday, January 25, 2013

2013 Game 4: Caps at Devils

Well at least this one wasn't a straight up loss. Let's jump right into it:
Star: Kind of a tough one, but I'm going to go with Neuvirth. Which, if you know me and my thoughts on Michal, should tell you just how good he was tonight. Got beat on a 5-on-3 and ultimately lost the game by allowing two other goals, but he made some absolutely spectacular saves and covered for the defense in the third period to keep the offense in it. Mike Green is a very close second, scoring his first of the year and generally looking solid (aside from a turnover that led to a breakaway) all night/season.

Goat: My hopes were misplaced. John Carlson, again. On for all three goals tonight, he has looked downright lousy. I may have to jump on the reverse-Samson bandwagon: the hair has got to go.

  • After starting the game last night, Mathieu Perreault was a healthy scratch tonight. Not really sure why, but that's what happened. The powerplay missed him, as Marcus Johansson was the Turnover Monster, just getting owned on the boards and passing it to the Devils every chance he got. MP85 was able to corral the puck and dish it to his teammates, leading to some very strong (though unproductive) possession and scoring chances last night.
  • Speaking of MoJo, I have to think a healthy scratch is in store for him. He sports team worsts in +/- (-5) and FO% (30%), and has two shots through four games. Eric Fehr, who had one shot in his first appearance tonight, is the only forward with less SOG. Among forwards, he has been on ice for the most goals scored against along with Brouwer and Backstrom, all tied at six. If you're following the math, that's five even strength goals he has been on ice for, good for worst on the team along with Carlson. He, Perreault, and Fehr are the only forwards without points, and the other two guys have seen the press box. Just a dreadful start to the year for the third-year Swede.
  • Not having a dreadful start? Mike Ribeiro, who is fitting in quite nicely with his first goal of the year (on a five-on-three powerplay) securing the team lead in points with four. Joel Ward assisted on that goal, giving him third point to go along with his pair of goals that opened the Caps' season. At least it isn't all bad out there...
  • Unlike the defense. With the exception of Mike Green, it's all bad news bears. One of the best pairings in the league last year, John Carlson and Karl Alzner are 1 and 2 for being on ice for the most goals against, combining for 19. Oofa.
  • Lots of line shuffling and blending tonight. This is nothing new for the Caps, and I'll excuse it for now with a new coach, some new players, and key injuries to Laich and Orlov. But this crap needs to stop. Figure out who goes where, and stick 'em there. I honestly do not mind a losing season if it means that by year's end, we have a coach with a set system, players who know it, and at least three set lines of guys who know how their linemates play. The Caps have lacked that since Boudreau started losing his mind against Halak. It hasn't worked for two years, three systems, and two coaches, I have no reason to expect it will work as a long-term strategy now.
Enjoy the day off, folks. Sunday is your next Caps hockey day, when Washington will host the Buffalo Sabres. It's cold out there, so why not get something warm?

No comments:

Post a Comment