The Caps/Rangers tilt the other day was basically a continuation of the prior several games. That is to say, the Caps were managing to stay in the game, but were resoundingly outplayed by the opposition.
Basically, given equivalent goaltending, the Caps would have had their butts handed to them. The goaltending was a bit odd, though. Talbot was getting his third straight start over Hank (very weird) while Gru was getting another start over both Neuvy and Holtby (almost as weird). Both choices were, I think, coaches being blinded by small samples of success, although both coaches were rewarded.
And man, it looked bad at the start. The Rangers got fourteen shots in the first period. IIRC, that's as many as both teams had in the first period, last time they played. The Caps managed half that, but thanks to a Green slapshot from the point on the power play, the period ended one-nil in the Caps favor.
The second period had Pouliot and Backstrom (tough to think where Caps would have been over the last month without him) trading goals, with the Rangers again having a large edge in shots and Fenwick.
The third period started with Hagelin managing a short-handed goal seventeen seconds in (with a very nice stretch pass from McDonagh). From there, it was basically Fehr time, with him getting a disallowed goal, and then an approved goal a couple minutes later. And that was it for scoring in the game, as the Caps managed to hold off New York.
But man, did they look bad in doing it. They allowed forty shots on goal (with nineteen more blocked by defenders) to a team that only averages thirty-one. The power play, shortie notwithstanding, looked pretty good, despite getting only one score; they took eleven shots in their four opportunities. The PK actually wasn't too bad, allowing only four shots (which really isn't great, but it is a signal improvement on recent performances).
But the key, of course, was that Gru stopped 38 of those forty.
That's great to see, of course, but is hardly sustainable.
It does seem a bit churlish to complain about the team finally getting another regulation win (which makes ten of their twenty overall victories), but I'm just going to keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Let's hope it doesn't come soon.
I'll talk about this evening's game against the Sabres separately.