Saturday, November 24, 2007

Two in a Row: Caps Top Canes

Capitals 5, Hurricanes 2

What's more encouraging that a 4-3 overtime win against the 5th place team in the Eastern Conference? A 5-2 win over the 2nd place team in the Eastern Conference.

Anyone seen the movie "Major League"? If you have, you may remember this quote:

"You guys won today. You guys won yesterday, so that's two in a row. If you win again tomorrow, that's called a 'winning streak'. It has happened before."

...which pretty much sums up where the Capitals stand at this point.

For the second game in a row the Capitals came out and played with more jump, more creativity and more confidence than we've seen most of the season and looked like they expected to win. Boudreau's arrival may have sparked that confidence but the two wins over tough opponents is what's really going to help it grow.

One immediate change: special teams. It's been said many times that the key to success in the post-lockout NHL (I refuse to use the term "new NHL" anymore. It's been two full seasons people.) is good special teams and the Caps certainly had that tonight - they were 3-4 on the powerplay and killed off all three Carolina man advantages.

Next up: Buffalo, another team playing below their expectations this year, at Verizon Center, Monday.

DMG's 3 Stars
(1) Olaf Kolzig (35 saves on 37 shots; .946 save percentage)
(2) Alex Ovechkin (2 goals)
(3) Michael Nylander (1 goal, 2 assists)

"If we have success next week, we're right back in it"
-Bruce Boudreau

Quick Hits

  • I'm sure many a Canes fan will be crying foul over Justin Williams' disallowed goal, but it was the right call. My logic: the puck moved downwards after it made contact with the stick and still hit the crossbar, ergo the stick was above the crossbar when it hit the puck.
  • Backstrom continued his solid play on the 4th line, picking up a pair of assists.
  • According to the broadcast team in Comcast, Boudreau received a congratulatory call from none other than Don Cherry in the last couple days.
  • With the way he skates, hits and plays in the offensive zone, Mike Green is going to become one of the most exciting defensemen in this league to watch.
  • It's not surprising Erik Cole managed to split the 'D' pairing of Milan Jurcina and John Erskine, as Cole is one of the better skaters in the NHL and neither Jurcina or Erskine is exactly agile.
  • Great crowd at the Verizon Center last night, both in numbers and enthusiasm.

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