Thursday, January 17, 2008

Caps Win After 12-Man Shootout

Capitals 5, Oilers 4 (SO)

When your opponents' powerplay is clicking and the referees are trigger-happy, you're usually in for a long night and that's exactly what the Capitals had to endure last night against the Oilers.

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The call on Viktor Kozlov (slashing) was terrible and it looked even worse given that Alexander Semin had a stick broken across his legs only seconds earlier - Oilers goal.

Brooks Laich gets called for finishing his check on an icing call. If there isn't an icing call he doesn't get that penalty and to me that's not a good enough reason to send him to the box. It wasn't a case of a clear icing and Laich didn't hit the Oilers' player way after the whistle. Laich was just doing what any decent hockey player does in that situation - finishing his check and playing until the whistle, and if the NHL doesn't want players getting hit on icing calls they should institute no-touch icing. Anyways, Laich gets a weak call - Oilers goal.

But enough complaining. The Capitals picked up two points and improved to 3-1 on the homestand. So what does that mean?

Well, Carolina lost and Atlanta lost in a shootout, so:

Games Played


G.P. (Relative to Caps)

Pts (Relative to Caps)
















Okay, show of hands - who thinks Atlanta or Carolina look like they're going to beat the Capitals out for the Division title? Okay, let's try of hands - of those of you who don't own an Ilya Kovalchuk or Eric Staal jersey, who thinks Atlanta or Carolina looks like they're going to beat the Capitals out for the Division title? Yeah, me neither.

DMG's 3 Stars
(1) Olaf Kolzig -
his numbers were a far cry from stellar, but Olie made a number of big saves, had no chance on the goals he allowed and stopped all 12 shooters Edmonton sent his way during the shootout. Without a doubt Kolzig was the biggest reason the Capitals won this game.
(2) Boyd Gordon - 2 assists, +1
(3) Alex Ovechkin - 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 hits, +1

Quick Hits
  • Sheldon Souray sure does like to shoot on the powerplay, doesn't he?
  • Nice hit by John Erskine on Dustin Penner in front of the net on the Oilers powerplay. Of course it would have been nice if it had happened before Penner put the puck in the Capitals' net.
  • Sometimes a second assist is an indicator of a really nice play. For example, Jeff Schultz's breakout pass to Boyd Gordon on the play that lead to Ovechkin's goal.
  • On his goal Mike Green picked his spot and hit it as well as any forward in the league.
  • Jarret Stoll was crying about having to go to the box for slashing Nicklas Backstrom halfway through the second period, though I'm not sure why because on the replay you could see Stoll take his stick to Backstrom three times.
  • The Capitals gave up the fourth goal because they were playing aggressively in the physical game. You want to be physical and hit with a lead, but not to the point where you're taking yourself out of the play to land a check.
  • Mike Green had 31:13 of ice time, during which he blocked 5 shots.
  • The following Caps had 4 hits: Alex Ovechkin, John Erskine, Mike Green and Matt Pettinger.
Photos: AP


Shmee said...

trigger happy is a nice way to put it. A couple of those penalties in the first period were outrageous.

DMG said...

No kidding.

I think trigger-happy is the best friendly way to put it.

usually frustrated caps fan said...

dmg: From my seat in section 103 Ovie had at least 7 hits - he was all over the place - he obviously loves playing against the Canadian teams. Erskine had 5 nice hits but neither he nor Tom Poti could dislodge Penner from the low slot and that was the reason for two of the four goals. It wasn't a stellar night for the D-Corps except for Mike Green whose RFA price clearly only went up last night. Olie was awesome - given all the flack you've been giving him you should've written at least a paragraph about that - in the shootout he showed great instincts, patience and even good lateral movement. LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!

DMG said...

I think we can all agree that the NHL's 'hits' statistic is imperfect, to say the least. Perhaps I should have used the phrase "credit with" when referring to hits