Blog Entry

Caps coming down to earth

Posted on: April 13, 2008 6:15 pm
 

Amid all the excitement being generated these days in Washington by Alexander Ovechkin and company, one minor detail seems to be getting lost in the shuffle. The Capitals are not invincible.

Now you might have been hard pressed to convince anyone in D.C. about that after the Caps won their last seven and 11 of their last 12 to win the Southeast Division and earn a playoff spot, especially since they engineered a remarkably dramatic third period comeback to win the series opener Friday against the Flyers. While their latest victory was the stuff of Hollywood thanks to leading man Ovechkin making a play for the ages to score the winner, it's worth remembering that the two defensemen he undressed on the play -- Lasse Kukkonen and Jaroslav Modry -- aren't the guys who are supposed to be on the ice when the Great 8 is. And until then, Ovechkin really hadn't been much of a factor thanks to the way Philadelphia had managed to shut him down.

But a win is a win, even if it falls under the fortunate heading, and it did little to diminish the growing confidence being felt from the Washington upstarts. Sunday's 2-0 loss at home should change that.

Truth is the score doesn't really reflect the margin by which the Flyers dominated the game. Philadelphia outplayed its hosts for much of the opener as well and would have come out on top had goalie Martin Biron been sharper. He was Sunday although he wasn't tested all that often, and because of it, the Flyers get to go home with the series tied 1-1 and the momentum shifted in their favor.

Really, it didn't take much to do that. Playoff series give teams a chance to adjust to opponents between games, but Philadelphia coach John Stevens  insisted correctly on the off day that there was nothing to modify with the game plan, only with the execution.  A simple assertion perhaps, but obviously valid consideringPhiladelphia was all over the Caps from the outset of Game 2 negating the home team's offensive firepower with smart positioning, diligent back checking and superb penalty killing. Ovechkin was limited to five shots, with the most dangerous being a first-period rocket that was hard to enough to potentially hurt Biron, but not beat him.

The standout on this day was Mike Richards and his linemates, who were all over Ovechkin throughout the game and the Flyers No. 1 defense pairing of Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn. Those units have Ovechkin and those along side him looking lost for much of the afternoon, and iff nothing else, it showed that the underdog Flyers, who finished strong and came into this series under the radar, have figured out a way to neutralize Washington's big guns.

They may not be able to do so over the course of a series, but no one should assume they can't either.

 

Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posted on: April 15, 2008 5:35 pm
 

Caps coming down to earth

POINT MATCH. VERY WELL PUT!!!




Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: April 15, 2008 4:17 pm
 

Caps coming down to earth

brianz85: what if the refs just blow the whistle whenever anyone falls to the ice, that  way there is no discretion and they dont have to decide if someone is in danger of further injury...or if they are in fact injured or they're trying to stop play.  How many times have you seen a guy limp off the ice, barely able to stand only to have them return full speed on the next shift.  Just cant stop the play unless the guys is in imminent danger of further injury.  It's hockey - guys get hurt...it's the nautre of the game and teams often get an advantage by another's misfortune with an injury; some unfortunately are bad...and we only know that AFTER THE FACT (unless you're Clint Malarchuck or Richard Zednick).



Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posted on: April 15, 2008 12:49 pm
 

Caps coming down to earth

AS IN "WHAT IF" THE WHISTLE WAS BLOWN ON THE INJURY TO THORESEN? HMMM..... I WONDER IF THAT WAS OVEN CHICKEN OUT THERE LYING ON THE ICE IF THE WHISTLE WOULD OF BEEN BLOWN. I GUESS WE CAN ONLY WONDER "WHAT IF"!



Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2008 7:25 pm
 

Caps coming down to earth

Bew0072, Let me explain a little more clearly so that you may understand what I was referring to when I called BrianZ a "true homer". He only seems to be seeing the game as he wishes it happened. He was incorrect when he said that the flyers dominated game 1, they didn't. As a matter of fact it was fairly evenly played overall but the capitals played better in the third period resulting in them winning the game. I admit that this is going to be a very competitive series and could go either way. I would not be surprised if it went to game 7. I also saw an if in your response as well as in"if the flyers played better in the 3rd period they would LIKELY be up 2-0."

Yea, and IF OV had broken his leg in game 1 the flyers LIKELY would have won also. IF Huet would have had one less save the flyers LIKELY would have won. BUT THEY DIDN'T! There are a lot of what ifs out there, lets talk facts and stop being a bunch of HOMERS!




Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2008 3:08 pm
 

Caps coming down to earth

Snyder Isatool -

Spot on, 100% accurate with everything you said.  Glad to see that I'm not the only one who actually watched both games and was able to comprehend what was happening.




Since: Feb 12, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2008 1:52 pm
 

Caps coming down to earth

Ok, first off i'm a Caps fan.  

Game 1 -  The Caps out played Philly for most of  that game accept for a span of about 6 minutes in the second period when  Mike Green forgot how to play defense for a few shifts and Philly had a flurry of goals. Although Green recovered nicely and redeemed himself with two beautiful power play lasers in the third.  From that point on it was all Caps.  They scored 3 unanswered goals.  They out hit, out shot , and out skated Philly for the rest of the game capping it off with an amazing game winning goal by th MVP.  

Game 2-  The Caps didn't show up. End of story. Props to Marty Biron for a hell of a game.

Ovechkin -  Playoff inexperience is showing, but he's too good to be shut out the rest of the series, He will get his.  

Biron -  In Game 2 he played championship level hockey. He was in short..amazing.  If he continues to play at that level , the Caps will lose the series although i highly  doubt he'll be able to sustain at that level for the rest of the series. 

Observations through the first two games-

The Caps so far have been the more physical team (if you really watch the games) 

The Flyers have exhibited more of a total team effort in both games.  You can tell they have more team depth. What they lack in talent they make up with depth.  Sometimes I see the other Caps players kind of floating around the ice waiting for Ovehckin and Green to do something.  They need to step it up and put forth more effort.

The Flyers are taking to many penalties.  The Caps PP is too potent and will start to show that as the series goes on.  The Flyers were lucky in Game 2 that Biron played amazing.  That's too much pressure to put on your goalie.

Huet -  Not entirely his fault, but not playing as well as he did in March.  Defensive lapses by Mike Green and others in the neutral zone have contributed to more goals allowed. So not all his fault.  He and the defense need to step it up a bit.

Caps -  When they step up their intensity and are clicking on all cylinders they're probably a top 3 team in the NHL.  If they play with the same level of intensity as they did in Period 3 of Game 1 for the remaining games then the Caps win the series in 5.  The big question is can they sustain that level of intensity. They certainly
didn't have it in Game 2.    

CAPS!

 




Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2008 12:23 pm
 

Caps coming down to earth

How does stating facts make BrianZ a "true homer" as you put it, SportsTalker?

If they Flyers played the 3rd period of Game 1, there is a very likely chance that they would be up 2-0.  You are right in saying that they did not dominate the entire game, but they did most of the second period and if they kept that intensity up, they probably would have the third as well.

Also, the only adjustment that the Flyers made after Game 1 was to realize that the games themselves are 60 minutes, not 40. 

I do expect the Caps to make adjustments going into Game 3.  If they don't then I really do not see them winning this series at all.  Flyers have the last change, so it will be a lot easier for Stevens to get his matchups on the ice when Ovechkin is on it.




Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2008 11:37 am
 

Caps coming down to earth

I don't think either of you watched the either entire game.  I seem to remember the Caps dominating the first 10 minutes of the first period and the entire third in game one and Philly dominating the rest of the game.  Game 2 seemed to me that Philly pretty much did as they pleased and only a great game by Huet saved the score being worse.  Having said all that I think this will turn out to be a GREAT series whoever wins but of course I'm taking the Caps in 7.



Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2008 9:58 am
 

Caps coming down to earth

Brianz, spoken like a true homer. As a matter of fact I did watch both games and game 1 was far from dominated by the Flyers. They didn't even show up for the 3rd period moron. About your 2-0 coulda, shoulda, woulda theory, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we all would have a merry christmas. Yea, OV has been held in check alright he only scored the game winner in Game 1. The Caps have beaten philly twice at home this year already, what makes you think that they won't at least split with them. Stop being a homer and think realistically, these are two professional playoff teams that have fought all year to get where they are ,do you really think that either one is going to fold because of one bad outing. I give the flyers credit for the adjustments that they made after game one, look for the caps to make some adjustments of their own.



Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2008 9:59 pm
 

Caps coming down to earth

OK SHMO IT IS NOT JUST ONE GAME. HAVE YOU WATCHED THIS SERIES AT ALL? THE FLYERS HAVE DOMINATED THE CAPITALS IN BOTH THATS RIGHT BOTH GAMES. THE WAY I SEE IT THE FLYERS SHOULD BE GOING BACK TO PHILLY UP 2-0. OVEN CHICKEN HAS BEEN HELD IN CHECK FOR THE MOST PART. NOW GOING BACK TO PHILLY AND THE FLYERS HAVE LAST CHANGE FOR LINE UPS LOOK OUT WASHINGTON FLYERS WILL TAKE THIS IN SIX GAMES.



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