Thursday, March 13, 2008

Flames/Caps Recap

Capitals 3, Flames 2

I got a little lazy and a little busy and didn't put together a preview for this game, but if I had it essentially would have consisted of "Holy crap, Dion Phaneuf is good. Holy crap, Jarome Iginla is good. Holy crap, Miikka Kiprusoff is good. Man, oh man, is it going to take a lot to beat the Flames".

But then of course, there is what Capitals fans already knew: Holy crap, Alexander Ovechkin is good.

It was going to take an impressive effort for the Capitals to overcome a talented, deep and tough Calgary Flames and coming off one of the most heartbreaking regular season weekends a team could experience the Caps again proved themselves quite resilient as a potent powerplay, solid goaltending and a defense that stymied the Flames attack and allowed just two shots in the third period.

That statistic is important for more than just this game because it indicates that the Capitals are doing something under Bruce Boudreau that they simply could not do under Glen Hanlon: making necessary adjustments. The Flames had a whopping 17 shots in the first period, but just eight in the second and the measly two in the third, a stark contrast to many of the games Hanlon had coached, where the Capitals would control the first period only to be totally outplayed in the second and third. It's not as if the Capitals are slow starters under Boudreau though - last night's game was the first time the Caps had been scored on in the first period since February 23rd, a span of eight games. Just another indication that Bruce Boudreau is the right coach for this team right now and that the future is bright in Washington, even if this season's playoff push comes up short.

DMG's 3 Stars
(1) Alexander Ovechkin - 2 goals (and the game winner), 11 shots, 1 hit, +1
(2) Olaf Kolzig - 23 saves on 24 shots (.923 save percentage)
(3) Mike Green - 2 assists, 1 hit, 2 blocked shots

Quick Hits

  • Olaf Kolzig's rebound control...not pretty.

  • On a night when all eyes would be one him, Alex Ovechkin certainly delivered with his two goals and 11 shots.

  • John Erskine logged just over five minutes of ice time and was rarely seen after his bout with Eric Godard. Could this be another fight-related injury?

  • At one point Joe Beninati said that Thermoblades hadn't drawn any rave reviews - Wayne Gretzky was asked to try them out and liked them so much be invested in the company. (Full disclosure: the author of this blog thinks that the concept of Thermoblades is really cool.)

  • The NHL keeps saying they want to cut down on hits to the head and that they players need to do a better job of respecting one another. That's a pretty hard line to have when their own officials won't call clotheslines to the head...and I think Matt Bradley would agree with me.

  • Speaking of officiating: when a player gets in the face of an opposing player after a penalty, like Jarome Iginla did to Mike Green when he was trying to draw Green into a bad penalty to take the Caps off the powerplay, shouldn't it be a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct?

All photos AP/Getty by way of Yahoo!

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