Tag Archives: Lightning

The Caps are on the outside looking in

19 Feb

Academic suspension over! Let’s talk some Caps hockey…or lack thereof. The Caps are, at this moment, 2 points out of first place in the Southeast Division (which also happens to be the weakest division in the NHL) and 1 point out of the Playoffs.

No big deal, right? WRONG. The Caps are here for a reason, not because the Sens have about faced and become the ’83-’84 Oilers in all their glory, but because the Caps have a Coach unwilling to change his style of Coaching to adhere to the type of talent he has.

Let’s look at the facts; 2 years ago, with the same core players, the Caps won the President Trophy. There is no way the same basic team, yes they have had changes, but they’re pretty minor, should go from winning the Presidents Trophy to a team that’s out of a Playoff spot and in serious doubt of making it.

Simply put, Dale Hunter isn’t putting the enormous talent he has to good use. Yes, Backstrom’s been out for over a month and Green just came back, but he still has Ovechkin, Wideman, Semin, Laich and plenty more. Just with those players this team shouldn’t be struggling to put up one or two goals a night with less than 30 shots on goal. Guys, you have to shoot to score and score to win.

You can’t just dump ‘n’ chase while poorly protecting your own end in hopes of scoring (I’m looking at you, Hamrlik. Don’t give me that offensive D bull). That’s not how it works or how it ever did. Dale Hunter was a great player and a good Junior Coach, but his system doesn’t work for the Caps.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, unless the Caps start consistently showing up with effort and hopefully with a new style of play, they aren’t going to make the Playoffs this year. This is a make it or break it season for the Caps, and from the looks of things, it looks like a bust for Washington.


The never ending game: Caps vs. Lightning (6-5)

11 Oct

Ah, the lightning. A team we remember so fondly from April. Ya know, that team that kicked our derrieres 4-0 in the series? Such fond memories. All sarcasm aside; this game was, in a way, redemption for last years abrupt and painful second round Playoff exit.

Game day went per usual; Brucie decided to do some line switcheroo’s which landed Matty P the center spot on 4th line and Mojo on 2nd line center. No other major changes happened, except Brucie gave the go ahead to Vokoun. But considering he announced it Saturday, it wasn’t a huge surprise.

And then there was game time, if there was any a game where I wanted the Caps to kick some tuchuses (other than against our usual bitter rivals) it would be against the Lightning.

The puck dropped at 7:10 and they were off! It was a hard-fought battle  along the boards and in each respective blue zone. Both teams were fighting tooth and nail, they both had something to prove.

The Lightning had to prove they are just as good, or better, than one of the best, arguably, teams in the league. The Caps had to prove they had better talent and ability than the team that embarrassed them 4 straight games in a row.

Apparently the Caps were having a hard time communicating their message, as the Lightning struck first a little over 2 minutes into the game. the Caps hoped the old saying “Lightning never strikes the same place twice” holds true after Johansonn made it a tie game at 4:49 with a nice wrap around assisted by, my favorite, defenseman Karl Alzner.

Sad to say, that saying didn’t hold true because at 8:35 Gervais of the Tampa Bay Lightning let in a soft wrister against Voukon. caps fans all around Twitter were furious, making their thoughts clear on Voukons goal keeping abilities. But the mob was silenced when Dennis Wideman got a nice little tip in with a little less than 5 minutes remaining.

The second period was like the eye of the storm, in the sense of scoring. Both teams only got one goal apiece; Tampa with Dominic Moore at less than a minute into the first period and Troy Brouwer a few minutes later at 3:42.

But the scoring didn’t stop there, the Caps and Lightning continued to see-saw back and forth. In fact our loveable announcer, Joe B, commented that “whomever gets the puck last will probably win” seeing as a goal was almost routinely scored when a team got the puck.

After Chimers scored early in the third with assists by Joel Ward and Brooks Liach, respectively, the Caps got a little behind the 8 ball and allowed Tampa to score twice, almost consecutively, and we were soon trailing 4-5 in the third. But who was it t save the day? Chimers! He swooped in on his Flash Gordon feet and had a wrist shot so spectacular you would’ve thought the Hockey Gods were smiling down on him. After Jason saved the day and tied this baby up, we finished out regulation with a few penalties and ready to head to Overtime.

As if our third period play hadn’t overshadowed enough, we spent most of the OT killing off stupid penalties like the usual hooking by Sahsa (bad Sasha!) and yet again, a too many men on the ice penalty by our vet winger Knuble. Luckily, and with help from our now hot goalie, we killed off our penalties and OT. it was time for he shootout.

As all hockey fans know, the shootout can be pretty intense. Like your heart rate gets faster and you hide your head with a blanket except for the occasional peak, kinda intense (maybe that’s just me). But the Caps knew what they were doing, their line-up consisted of the usual Ovie and Semin. But who was first? That honor would fall to our kind hearted Bruiser, Matt Hendricks.

Hendy was ready to showcase his hidden talent with a beautiful deke that would fool anyone (or Maybe Roloson needs to get some glasses with his AARP membership) and gave us the edge over Tampa, 1-0. Tampa was not able to match as Nate Thomas managed to give a weak wrister which sent the Verizon Center to its feet. Rocking that gorgeous Red. Ovie came out and played like a rock star, sending us 2-0 over Tampa. So close!  Voukon managed to stand on his head when it mattered most and denied Dominic Moore a to tally. Still 2-0. The Phone Booth was so quiet you could hear Semins skates slice the ice as he rushed the net, looking for a place to lay the biscuit. And he did, Semin with a classic wrister.

The lamp lit up and everyone went crazy! We did it! We beat the infamous Lightning 6-5 Shootout style. That’s how we play hockey in Washington. And that’s how the Caps get payback.

Can we expect a similarly exciting game in the Consol energy Center? Sure, Sid the Kid won’t be there. But the intense rivalry is still the same. I predict a rather low scoring game with lots of checking. And, of course, a Caps win. But that may be my bias creeping in…

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