Monday, November 24, 2008

Caps Rally But It's Too Little Too Late: Wild 4, Caps 3

The summary first: it was a no point night and very frustrating in the first two periods. The officiating was off the charts --- bad (and not the slang bad where bad is good but the bad, bad where bad is awful.) The first two periods were not fun to watch for Caps fans, the Caps took 4 minor penalties and the Wild took two. The Caps failed to sore on their two power play attempts in the first two periods and the Wild scored on one of their 4 power plays in the first two periods. In the first period the shots on goal were Caps 11, Wild 9. In the second period mainly because of the man advantages the Wild had, the shots on goal were Caps 6, Wild 17. At the end of two given the lopsided shots on goal and the amount of power play minutes, Minnesota had, Caps fans had to be pleased their team was only down 2-0 on the scoreboard. Minnesota fans had to be happy that both goals were scored by feel-good story, almost rookie, Cal Clutterbuck, his first and second career NHL goals.

At the end of two periods the Caps were down by a score of 2-0 AND they were "down" two more players: Boyd Gordon and Jeff Schultz. Schultz reportedly (per Tarik) has a broken finger; the reason that Boyd Gordon wasn't seen after the first period is as yet undisclosed. Hopefully at some point this season, the Caps will have a night where more players return to the line-up then are placed on the injured list; and that's just a quantity statement, as far as quality of those OUT of the line up..."Don't get me started..."

The third period was really two stories - the first ten minutes and the second ten minutes. The main story of the first ten minutes was the not one, but two "closing the hand on the puck penalties" the Caps received in a period of less than 30 seconds. First Tom Poti and then Alexander Ovechkin, both of which appeared "questionable" and gave Minnesota the chance to go up 3-0 on a power play goal (Minnesota's second of the game) by Marek Zidlicky. Then 20 year old Center James Sheppard scores his first goal of the season to put the Wild up 4-0 right after the Versus network talks to his father and sister in the stands, at 7:17. Finally, the Caps start to try and respond about midway through the period and then at about 14:30, Eric Fehr looks like the first round draft pick he is (2003 1/18) when he "bulls" his way down the left side boards and the Caps exert a bunch of pressure on Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom and Matt Bradley gets "an ugly, hockey players goal" at 14:43 to make it 4 -1. Just 1:27 later, Alexander Ovechkin scores his first goal against the Wild, assisted by Fleischmann and Jurcina to make it 4-2 at 16:07. Then at 17:13 Marek Zidliky gets a hooking penalty, here we go again it's time for the "Cardiac Kids." During the ensuing power play the Caps exert tons of pressure until Nicklas Backstrom, the 21 year old Center from Sweden scores on his namesake the 30 year old goalie from Finland, at 18:16 - Score Caps 3, Wild 4 with 1:44 left to play. The Caps had several trys at 6 on 5 with goalie Jose Theodore pulled and on the bench but to no avail, at the end of regulation the Wild were still up by one goal.

Oh well, better luck next time for our guys.....we showed we can play with heart at the end of the game with a shortened roster. Next up Atlanta, Wednsday night at Verizon; my ticket partner Tom has the ticket but I think he gave them away as both of us will be traveling to spend Thanksgiving with family the following day. I hate to miss the game as does he, but I'm sure there will be a good crowd to welcome the Caps back from this grueling road trip.
LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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