Bedeviled in the swamp

I don't have a whole lot to say about the Caps game against the Devils, the other night.  OV was out, Neuvy was in.  Schmidt was also out, with Erskine coming in; I understood that decision, but didn't agree with it.

The stats say it was a very close game (5v5 close FF% dead even, difference of one in shots), and I guess the 2-1 score reflects that, but I must admit that it didn't feel that close, especially once NJ went up by a pair.  It really never felt like the Caps were going to come back (granted, the penalties didn't help that), so I guess, in that sense, the Chimmer goal was almost like a present.  Just not a very good one, since it wasn't enough to tie the score.

Neuvy played a very good game; I thought he (and Erskine and Carrick) badly overplayed Jagr on Henrique's power play goal, but that was really his only mistake.  Dima really needs to stay out of the box, because Erskine and Carrick are an adventure out there at evens; the PK is really not the place for them.

The power play was kind of interesting for the Caps, if only mediocre effective (no goals, twelve shot attempts, nine on net).  Green twice ended up playing OV's normal position, which seemed like a decent fit for him (Carlson does a slightly better job on keep-ins at the point, but Green's passes across are better.  Not sure which to favor, overall).  Fehr ended up in Brouwer's position a couple of times, which I like (even though he didn't do much in this game).  And Brouwer ended up in OV's position during one stretch, which I didn't think much of.

The PK was pretty decent, with thirteen shot attempts against and three for (all of the latter on net).  Of course, defending five power plays is just too many.  If I remember correctly, they did a very good job against the first two, and things went a bit south from there on out.

One thing I didn't like was that the Caps were completely dominated on the boards; they did very little cycling of their own, which was particularly bad for the third line.

Oh, and things got even worse about eleven minutes into the second, when Grabovski's leg got rolled over in front of the net.  He didn't return, and didn't play against the Habs, although there was one slight sign of encouragement there, as they showed him in the press box and he wasn't using crutches.  Yeah, that's a slim hope to hang onto, but we'll just have to take what we can get.

Anyway, that's about it, although I should doff my cap to Schneider, who had an excellent game in goal for Jersey.  (And as a side note, I still don't understand why he wasn't on the goalie list for the US Olympic team.)

I'll write up my thoughts about the Habs game separately.

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