It's hard to feel disappointed when you grab a point on a road game in a different city from where you played the night before, but that's what most fans and the Capitals themselves probably are after last nights 4-3 OT loss to the Penguins. I started to write my report on the game but decided to summarize the high points and decided instead to take a couple paragraphs and also tell you about how much I enjoyed the movie I saw before the game.
1) Bottom Line: The Caps deserved two points and got one.
2) I like others who really couldn't see the whole thing, since I watched the game on TV and some of the incident was off camera, will forever feel that while you could stretch and say Shoane Morrisonn MIGHT have deserved the roughing penalty in the third, at the same time Malkin should probably have been called for interference. However, all things considered no whistles should have been blown at that time, and the game allowed to proceed.
3) Olie Kolzig played excellently and really can't be faulted for either of the two goals scored on him. The first would have taken a miracle to stop and the second was a combination super play between one of the league's three leading centers and setup men to the leagues best offensive defenseman. If Kolzig can keep the performance bar where he's had it the past two games, goaltending will not be any reason for the Caps not to win the rest of this season.
4) Brent Johnson is out 2-4 weeks and the Caps have recalled Fredric Cassivi from Hershey today.
5) For the second time in a row, the Caps outplayed the Pens and lost, so it probably goes to say that nothing anyone writes will make fans or the team feel better about that.
6) The Caps next two games are a home and home against the hot (8-1-1 in their last 10) Ottawa Senators; the Caps need the 4 points a lot more then the Senators so it should be a fun two games to watch.
7) If there's justice in the world, on January 21st when the Caps next play the Pens (in Pittsburgh) the hockey gods will ensure all puck bounces, etc. go the Caps way, the Caps will play that game as well as they did last nights AND have a one sided victory over a team that has been their nemesis since the lockout. Oh and just for good measure, Jaromir Jagr will be blanked in the Rangers vs Bruins game on the 20th AND the Rangers vs. Thrashers game on the 22nd. (Who says I can't be "a little partisan" or hold a grudge? Remember Caps Fans you and the Caps are still paying part of his salary this year so the least he should do is give us a few reasons to smile and play as half hearted there as he did here a couple games a season.)
8) If you're keeping track, the Caps have captured 15 of 24 possible points so far in the month of December. (That's 0.625 hockey.) They are continuing to claw their way up to respectability and are clearly not a team to be taken lightly at home or away. Putting the quality of hockey, Caps fans have been watching since the coaching change, in perspective: if the Caps had played the way they have playing the last month, for the entire season, they would have 47 or 48 points. At 47 points, the Caps would have the second best record in the Eastern Conference, and the third best record in the league. If that isn't justification for removing the interim label from Bruce Boudreau's title, nothing is. For that reason, along with the fact they are only 6 points/3 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, I continue to hope the team and us fans have something to do in April besides play golf.
Now a side note. Yesterday before the game I went and saw Charlie Wilson's War; I loved the picture and am telling all my friends, acquaintances, etc. that it is a great movie, and a must see. Tom Hanks gives his usual fantastic performance and the story is entertaining, not over-blown and very interesting. There's a lot to talk about but I don't want to spoil the movie for anybody so I won't share any specifics. It's just the stars are stars, the story is great, the gratuitous sex is gratuitous, but well done but attractive extras. There is both drama and comedy in the movie that is appropriately told. I always love Tom Hanks and find it ironic that a guy who can pull off parts like these (Philadelphia, Cast Away, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan, etc.) started as a comedian that played a cross dresser to get a cheap apartment in a short lived TV series (Kip Wilson in Bosom Buddies). Granted it's not Bruce Boudreau in Slap Shot, but it's a helluva entertaining film, and Hanks' costars Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams all turn in wonderful performances as well. I can recommend that everyone go see this movie, have a good time, then come to Verizon Center on Tuesday and cheer the Caps on in what will be the fourth in a series of four hard games where they, hopefully, will be playing for their 6th and 7th point out of a possible 8 points in that same stretch.
LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!