Friday, November 2, 2007

Caps/Flyers Recap

Flyers 3, Capitals 2

What's left to say at this point? Again the Capitals controlled the first period of play but couldn't capitalize on the scoreboard, and again fell by just one goal. Unlike many of their other recent games, the Caps did not lose despite being the better team - on a whole the Flyers played better hockey from the second period on and for the game, and penalties especially killed the Capitals.

Any team is going to get outplayed some nights. It just wouldn't be as frustrating if the Capitals had managed to pull out wins in games where they had outplayed better than the opposition.

So the Caps now sit at 5-8, with 10 points through 13 games. They're not out of it by any stretch (who is this early in the season?), but they either need to starting picking up some points or get Poti, Clark and Semin back now. I still have faith the Caps will be a playoff caliber team with those guys in the lineup but they can't go digging themselves a hole they can't climb their way out of.

Quick Hits

  • Brooks Laich in a fight? Really? Brooks Laich? I don't think I can overstate how much I like this guy. Smart, hardworking, versatile. Exactly the type of role player a successful team needs.
  • Unbelievably stupid first period penalty by Matt Bradley to give up at PP chance for the Caps. The coaches and/or captain need to call him out on that.
  • I know it's his job to be tough guy, but does Riley Cote really think its a good job to challenge Brashear when he already has 2 black eyes?
  • There were a good number of altercation in the first period alone, either instigated or responded to effectively by the Caps: Pothier/Coburn, Bradley/Coburn, Bradley/Hartnell, Brash/Cote, Pettinger/Lupul, and of course the fight between Laich and Richards. Great to see the Caps playing with a snarl on their collective face. That's the kind of attitude it takes to be successful in the NHL, especially when you're not the most skilled team
  • Encouraging game out of Fleischmann. Not only did he score - he looked a lot more comfortable without the puck and was doing a pretty good job of getting into position. I think I even saw him throw a hit!
  • I wasn't exactly surprised to see Jeff Schultz standing in front of the net looking helpless after Briere's goal. Yesterday Tarik El-Bashir speculated that Steve Eminger is healthy and ready to play. If that's the case I really don't understand why Schultz is in the lineup at this point.
  • Does anyone get more of their shots blocked than John Erskine?
  • He may not be be a great goalie but does anyone have a cooler helmet than Antero Niittymaki?

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