Capitals 3, Red Wings 4 (SO)
Behind a strong game from Olaf Kolzig and a late goal from Alexander Semin the Capitals were able to pick a point against the best team in the NHL, in the league's toughest building to play in.
There might be a natural inclination to feel like last night's game was a loss since the the Red Wings picked up two point with their shootout victory, but it was a tie. That the Capitals couldn't pick up the extra point in the shootout is too bad, but the actual hockey game was a tie. And a tie is a good thing on the road, especially against a team like Detroit.
What the Capitals are starting to show at this point is consistency. Early in the season they showed, at times, what a good team they could be - winning their first two games of the season handily, beating Toronto 7-1, in Toronto, and taking a win from the Senators, in Ottawa, when the team was at its hottest. Despite their flashes of brilliance the team wasn't able to play well night in and night out and in fact had trouble even putting together solid efforts in consecutive games. I think that the fact that the Capitals have been playing more consistently is in large part due to Boudreau's attitude. The fact that he doesn't accept moral victories against any opponent, holds players accountable and wants the team to play aggressive hockey because he knows they can is key because it's going to help prevent the team from falling into lengthy losing streaks. Even the best teams are going to lose games. It's the ability to come back the next night, play hard again and avoid hanging your head that lets teams pick up point on a consistent basis and builds a winner.
"If you told me before the game that we would have gotten a point out of tonight, I think all of us would have pretty happy with that. ...I don't look at a shootout loss as a loss. I look at it as a tie."
- After the Caps' Saturday game I criticized the classlessness of the Tampa Bay Lightning's fans; tonight I will commend the class of Wings' fans for applauding when the injured linesman was able to get back to his feet after being hurt about a minute and a half into the game.
- The referees called the game very tight all night, except when Mike Green was hauled down in the Wings' zone rushing the puck in. Why? Because the Wings already had a player in the box. The most important thing as a referee is being consistent and that means being consistent the whole game - even if a team is already short-handed.
- I'm tickled pink the Capitals scored with less than two minutes remaining in the game to force overtime and pick up a point, but it's too bad it came on a powerplay that was the result of a puck over the glass delay of game penalty because that is really an awful rule.
- I tend to view going to overtime and a shootout as a tie with the opportunity to get lucky and get an extra point, but it'd be nice if Kolzig were better in the shootout. He's now 5-12 in his career and has stopped fewer than 40% of shots. With the style he plays it's not surprising that he isn't a great shootout goalie, but it'd also be nice if he didn't get beat by the exact same move three times in a row.