Capital battle

The Caps played the Sens Saturday night, and it started out the way you'd expect with a 1-3 team playing a 3-0 one. The Caps jumped out pretty early to a two goal lead, dominating play to get there, and stay there for most of the people.

Things went a bit off the rails at the very end of the period, with a bit of a defensive breakdown and a Senator with the puck on the doorstep. Vokoun saw it in the players feet, and tried to jump on it, but missed and the Sen was able to pass it back to a teammate who lifted it over Vokoun before TV could get back in position. So they went into the break only up a goal, but having pretty seriously outplayed the Sens.

And, well, I can't say things went too terribly after that, because no goals were allowed, but they did not play well. They did not continue to dominate the play; in fact, the edge on that went to the Sens. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as the Penguins game, but the Caps didn't really look good for more than about thirty seconds at a time the rest of the way. Perhaps the third line and the Carlson/Alzner pairing excepted. Oh, and Vokoun, who was excellent.

I'm really not sure what to make of this team; they're really not doing anything well with consistency. Well, the first, second, and fourth lines aren't (though all have shown flashes). Hamr has been pretty bad so far; I hadn't realized just how bad. He's been on the ice for seven of the eleven goals the team has surrendered so far. I'm guessing that he's just failing to mesh with Green (or he doesn't get the Caps system at all, but that seems even less likely). The only real point of optimism here is that Hannan looked pretty bad for a while when he first arrived last season, also, but played very well for the rest of the season. I'm hoping Hamr can similarly turn it around.

One thing that I can't figure out is why Perreault was out again. He played quite well his first two games, but was replaced by Beagle against Pittsburgh (and how'd that work out for us?) and by King (?!?) against Ottawa. King actually wasn't a complete disaster in his seven minutes, but I still don't understand why Perreault wasn't the one out there. I mean, if Asham was on the ice, I might've understood it, but he was in Pittsburgh.

And I should also mention that Brouwer moved up to the top line, as I was hoping. Let's just say it wasn't all that I had been hoping for. It would probably work better if we could get OV and Backstrom to cycle more; as is, it's not been a great fit.

Anyway, I'm hoping the team can start establishing some consistency; I think it might start by making the third line the de facto first for a bit. That is, give them the most minutes. Heck, maybe give them cushier zone starts than we'd generally prefer, and see if that lights a fire under some of the guys on the top two lines. Because while 4-0 is really nice, it's been achieved with large dollops of luck, and playing the way the Caps have is more likely to result in 0-4 than the current record. There was a lot of talk recently about accountability. Is that actually going to happen?

We'll see, when we get back into things tomorrow night against the Panthers (who, it must be noted, just took two from the Lightning).

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