I watched the Washington/Vancouver game on Saturday, not feeling real great about it. And the game didn't leave me feeling like that was unwarranted. It started out with the Caps getting dominated solidly for quite a while. They were spending way too much time being hemmed in at their own end of the ice, and not nearly enough attacking. When they were able to attack, they weren't able to sustain it for any length of time.
The first period ended with them down 3-1, and that's about how it felt. The shots were 17-10, I believe, and it definitely didn't feel that close. The first goal was a really bad misplay of the puck by Vokoun, where he went to play the puck behind the net and didn't do it well (I really wish he weren't so ambitious; this is the first time it's really bit him in the butt, but it has worried me regularly). The other two goals, IIRC, were both on the power play, as the Caps couldn't seem to do much to slow down that power play unit.
The second period went much more the Caps way. The Caps didn't dominate it like Vancouver had the first period, but they did manage the opposite goal differential, leading to a tie by the end of the period. And, perhaps most importantly, they weren't dominated again. I didn't see the shots for the period, but I believe they went pretty well in the Caps favor.
The third period did not go well at all. I think it was closer, in terms of balance of play, than the first period, but the goals were even more lopsided, with Vancouver getting all three. I turned off the TV in disgust when the third goal went in. I must admit to not remembering too much, specifically; I guess I was putting more effort than I thought into reading The Son of Neptune.
One thing about the game that was a little weird was that Boudreau tried to shake things up a bit by replacing Vokoun after the first period. I don't have too much feeling about whether that was a good idea or not; I thought Neuvy was only ok, but TVo hadn't been great either. I would have been happy if Neuvy had started the game in net; TVo is a workhorse, but he still needs the odd break. And that was the eighth in a row for TVo.
Other than that, I thought the power play looked decent, and the penalty kill didn't. The good part was that the effort was definitely there. The first line regularly looked like a wrecking crew (as they should), in particular. The fourth line didn't, although I still thought Perreault did a good job. I was a bit irked, though, that Boudreau felt the need to tinker, again, and started mixing up the lines in the middle of the game. I was particularly irked at the first and third lines being played with. The former was looking great, and the latter has been doing well all season. I know that's Bruce's MO, but I was hoping that he might be getting past that (finally). False hope, it seems.
Other than that, I thought MarJo and Knuble both looked good (although I must admit to not having a good feeling about Knuble facing Luongo; it was a pleasant surprise when that one trickled into the net). But that's basically where the good news ends.
I'm hoping that, tomorrow night, Bruce gets back to just rolling all four lines, and doesn't tinker as much with the combinations. We'll see. And I'd like to see the start of another winning streak. Duh.