Saturday, December 22, 2007

Caps Can't Afford More Losses Like Thursday's

I woke up Friday still mad about Thursday night's Caps loss to the Habs, so I wrote a column about it for DC Sports Box. Here's the first few paragraphs. You'll have to click through for the rest:

Thursday night's Capitals vs. Canadiens game at Verizon Center was a chilling reminder of a script we've seen before: The Caps dominate a game in terms of shots but take too many penalties, give up a couple power play goals and lose.

Or, more accurately, they dominate the first period but go into the locker room tied or losing, then come out flat in the second period as they revert to a "scoring chances be damned, shoot from anywhere – even if it's right into the goalie's chest" strategy. Meanwhile they take bad penalties at inopportune times and give up power play goals, and despite seemingly dominating the game because of a lopsided shot total, they end up on the receiving end of a whooping. Then after the game we get fed stories about the bounces not going their way and running into the dreaded "hot goaltending."

It was an all-too-common scenario for the Caps before Glen Hanlon was fired on Thanksgiving Day, and it seemed like they had kicked that habit under interim coach Bruce Boudreau. But it's a rut the Caps cannot afford to fall into again.

Read the rest at DC Sports Box.


Christopher Blunck said...

Ya but do you remember the Butch Cassidy era? We'd attend to games where the caps would put 4 shots on goal compared to the other teams 30. And then everyone would not understand why we're not scoring.

In the past they'd try to run all these fancy plays with complex passes that were intercepted rather than putting the stupid puck on the net.

It's a pendulum... In the past we didn't shoot enough and maybe now we're shooting too much.

Abram said...

It's part of the learning process when all the players on a youth-league teams adopt a "time to be a hero" mentality. When half the roster on a NHL team does so, that's an issue.

You're totally right in that the Caps have mastered shooting often, but now they need to work on shooting smarter.