Thursday, March 5, 2009

Well It Wasn't Fun But It Was Better Than Tuesday Night - Caps Drop Another Game 2-1 to the Maple Leafs

Well what can you say. It was the third NO Point Night in a row for the Caps. That makes the Capitals ) 0-3-0 for March, March Madness indeed. Everything about tonight was a little better, but not better enough than Tuesday night was, despite the Caps playing without Alex Ovechkin or Tom Poti, both out with injuries. However, nothing was good enough in part because the Leafs played well, especially Martin Gerber who with a save percentage of 0.974 (37 of 38) kept the Leafs in the game and led them to the victory.

Jose Theodore played well - stopping 27 of 29 shots on net (Save Percentage = 0.931) but the Caps failed to mount an effective offense against Gerber and the Leafs defense held the Caps at bay. The Caps had their lines pretty jumbled the entire game and that may have contributed to the relatively toothless offense, as well. In the end I was left wondering if George McPhee regards Michael Nylander and his $5.5M salary with both a relatively long term and a no movement clause as the only big mistake of the "rebuild" as much as I do. The 36 year old "Nyls", after sitting out three games returned to the lineup and had a totally unremarkable game and of course ended up -1 for the night.

At the other end of the spectrum, Sergei Federov played defense a fair amount tonight and took a couple of turns at center tonight and had more ice time and more shifts then a 39 year old should have to take - 22:45 TOI in 30 shifts. "Feds" was all over the score sheet generally in a good way. Mike Green spent more than 1/2 the game out on the ice - 31:03 on 28 shifts to be exact and also put out a solid body of work tonight. Alexander Semin once again turned in a solid game that unfortunately was unable to push the Caps to victory. Semin had 24:23 TOI on 24 shifts a goal, 7 SOG, 2 hits, 3 takeaways and no giveaways. In many ways the Caps were not outplayed tonight and they stuck to their game plan but the Maple Leafs skaters managed to block 24 shots and Martin Gerber stopped 37 of the 38 shots they managed to get on goal, and in the end, that was the story tonight.

Next up Pittsburgh, Sunday at Verizon Center.


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