Tag Archives: Washington Capitals

The Morning After the Meltdown

I must be the only person in the world who isn’t surprised that the Caps blew it.  I had a bad, awful feeling about the Habs-Caps matchup going into the series and I came out of it with that same bad feeling.  To put it bluntly, I hated the matchup.  The Habs had given Washington some trouble in the regular season, a bit more so than other playoff teams.  If you recall, it was the Habs who ended the Caps’ 14-game winning streak.  On paper, the Habs had no chance.  They were midgets playing against the league’s top-scoring team.  But they found a way.

Here are some reasons why I think the Caps blew their series and Alex Ovechkin’s Stanley Cup bid.

1 Jaroslav Halak. Yeah, I know, blame the opposing goalie because it makes everyone feel better about the Caps’ meltdown.  But in this case, Halak stole the series.  We really should have seen this one coming ever since he led Slovakia to their stellar fourth-place finish at the Olympics after dethroning the Swedes.  Also, Halak was pretty darn good in the last few games of the regular season.  Jacques martin probably looks like a genius for putting Halak back in.

2. Tomas Fleischmann. While everyone else was blaming the Caps’ struggles on guns, Mike Green and Alex Semin, Fleischmann silently choked.  He had a strong regular season, and I’d expected to see more out of him than he did.  I think he had, like, one lousy assist in the entire series.  To the so-called experts, it’s not all Greenie and Sasha’s faults; you need to blame Flash, too.

3. Lack of secondary scoring. Two of the big guns, Alex Ovechkin and Nicky Backstrom, did their jobs.  Each finished the series with ten points and plus players.  They did their job; the second, third, and fourth lines did not.  Well, let me rephrase that.  Everyone on the second, third, and fourth lines failed to convert except for Eric Fehr.  Fehr had a good series, but his linemates did not.  The only other secondary guy who was decent was Boyd Gordon who was a critical part in two shorties that should have changed the series.  Alas…they did not.

4. An atrocious power play. The really disappointing part of the Caps’ meltdown was that they scored one power play goal in the entire series.  A team that had the league’s number-one regular season power play should not struggle like that.  The Habs were undisciplined at times and they should have paid for it.

5. They fell into the trap. When you have a team that has amazing scoring, but not-so-amazing defense, you get the Washingotn Capitals.   The Caps fell into a trap against the Habs.  Montreal had better goaltending and more consistent defense.  An offensive team is nothing if you can shut them down like the Habs showed.

Bottom-line, the Caps shouldn’t have lost the series.  What they really need to do is get a shut-down defenseman who can get it done for them. Also, a good move wouold be to trade Alex Semin for Mike Ribeiro, but what do I know?  I’m a Stars fan. 😛

Playoffs- All Tied Up!

So far, every series that has played two games is tied up.  The fate of this trend rests on the shoulders of the Chicago Blackhawks.  If they lose, they ruin everything.  But no pressure, Hawks.

Anyway, there were some exciting games yesterday, my favorite being the Caps-Habs Game 2.  After being down 4-1, the Caps rallied to win in overtime 6-5.  Nicky Backstrom and Andrei Kostitsyn each had a hat trick.  The last time each opposing team had a hat trick in one playoff game?  May 4, 2009 when Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby did it.

These are just some thoughts I took from the game:

-I saw some deja vu from Jose Theodore.  He was pulled by BB (Bruce Boudreau) after allowing two goals on that many shots.  Semyon Varlamov took over and cleaned up for Theo, much like he did last postseason.  It wasn’t a pleasant sight.

-All the talk about the play of Nicky and Ovie overshadowed the great game that American hero, John Carlson had.  Carlson tied the game late in the third that sent the game to OT.  It was oddly reminiscent of his World Jr’s goal.  Same shot, same fist-pump, same delirium.  Also overshadowed was Eric Fehr and the third and fourth lines of the Caps.  Fehr’s breakaways goal in the first period gave the Caps life and those lines kept them in the game.  I’m just giving them the credit they deserve.

-Mike Green is an overrated goat.  Watching him last night was like watching Matt Niskanen all season.  At one poin during the game I screamed, “NISKERS!”  before realizing that, no, it wasn’t Niskers, but Mike Green.  Greenie’s choking just like last year.

On Vancouver and LA…

-I was happy to see the young, widdle Kings win.  Most of them have never even played in the playoffs before.  It’s nice they got a win under their belt.