MPD Caps

Another bi(actually tri-)partite night for the Caps. They played great through the first ten or so minutes of the game, getting ahead ten shots to one over that span. And then they basically stopped keeping the puck in the offensive zone for more than one shot for most of the rest of the game.

They also gave up too many odd-man breaks. At one point, they gave up a 2-on-1, which Alzner broke up nicely. I had just finished commenting to my wife how good he is at dealing with odd-man breaks, when I turned back to the TV to see that they had given up another 2-on-1, which Moulson converted. *sigh*

I will say, though, with three new faces, my expectations were not all that high. After how long it took Hannan to get accustomed to the Caps system, I didn't have a particularly good feeling about ingesting three new faces. Of course, two of those three had great chances in that first ten minutes, with neither converting. Story of the season, I suppose, for the Caps.

But the Caps managed to hang around, getting some stellar goaltending from Neuvy. But it took them fifty-nine minutes and twelve seconds to finally get the puck across the line. Fortunately, that 2-on-1 was the only goal that the Islanders managed, so that last-minute goal was enough to send it into overtime.

And in overtime, OV made quite a power inside-out move to get past the defense to get off a backhander from in close to end the game. His ninth, I believe, career overtime goal (incidentally, why does it seem like everyone spells out OTGWG when someone gets an overtime goal? Is there some way that an overtime goal can fail to be a game-winner?).

I do find it odd that Wideman was, by far, the TOI leader on the team. I thought they mostly wanted him for his power-play contributions, but while he did tie (with OV) for the PP TOI lead, he also led the team in SH TOI (though only one second more than Hannan). Just seems weird to me. But I guess it worked out.

Arnott had a pretty good game, with the assist on Laich's last gasp goal, although his faceoffs better improve. But I'm really not too worried about that. In fact, if we hadn't traded Steckel to get him, I probably wouldn't have even looked.

There's definitely a lot to be encouraged about, but also a lot remains to be seen. Hopefully, Varly has missed his last game of the season. Also hopefully, Green comes back soon, although I do applaud the team not rushing him back. His long-term health should be a priority. And hopefully the team shooting percentage will get back to league average, at least; the Caps are only one off the league "lead" in being shut out, and were 48 seconds away from falling into a tie there.

I must admit, I'm not optimistic about the team come playoff time, although the new acquisitions have helped that a little bit.

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