Jackets leave Caps Blue

I wasn't able to watch last night's Caps/Blue Jackets game until after putting the kids to bed.  By the end of the second period, I was wishing I hadn't bothered.

The first period wasn't too bad, although some cracks were definitely showing (and those two power plays were really terrible).  And the two goals against certainly didn't help.

But the second period was just one long, unfolding disaster.  The Blue Jackets' speed was on full display and (helped by the absence of Green, who was hurt in the middle of the period, no doubt) the Caps really didn't have an answer.  Frankly, it's surprising they only gave up two goals for the period, especially since one was just a really bad goal by Holtby.  The second was really terrible defense, as Johansen was given way too much time, right next to the goal.

Shortly after the second goal was scored, I stopped the DVR from further recording, and would have turned it off, except that I looked at the current game state, and saw that the Caps had a shorty early in the third.  So I watched through to that goal, and turned it off.

This was a rare game for the Caps, where they were both bad possessionally, and got unlucky.  Nothing really good to look at.

The power play was atrocious, with some bad passes leading to breakaways (one of which led to a penalty, and another a short-handed goal), and with a bad penalty as well.  They were nominally 0/7, although they had less than eleven minutes of power play time.  Kudos to Columbus, though, because I think the fact that they were so aggressive at the point helped lead to the breakaways.  Still, not well handled by Washington.

The PK wasn't too bad, as it also had a lot of time on ice (also 0/7, on eleven minutes).

I guess, overall, the Washington power play was slightly better than the Columbus one.  That is, it had ten more shot attempts than Columbus, over a slightly shorter time.  But man, did it look bad.

Wilson ended up getting picked for best Cap by the broadcast.  I think it was due to his physical presence; he didn't manage to knock down three blue jackets at one time again, but had a number of very good, clean hits.  He also handled himself well when challenged on the first of those big hits.  And his possession numbers were very good, in his limited time.  But it was still kind of ridiculous to name him.

On the other hand, the top line was the worst one, at 5v5, and there weren't many players who looked good.  Green was doing well, before he got injured.  Fehr also did very well.  MarJo and OV were two of the three big anchors on the team, though (Chimmer was the third).  Not good.

Holtby looked pretty good, outside of that one bad goal (though it would have been good if he could have done a better job with the rebound that led to Johansen's first goal (the rebound went straight to him, and nobody was covering him at the time).

The result leaves Washington well outside the playoff picture (7th in division, 13th in conference).  It's going to take quite a rebound to get back (assuming they can do it at all).

If Grabo and Green don't both return soon, they can basically write off the season, because they're in very bad shape.  They need about 36 points in 28 games (about a 108 pt pace).  It isn't hopeless, but it's certainly a long shot.  Sports Club Stats says less than a 19% chance; that's certainly better than a couple of times last season (I forget exactly, but they were definitely below 5% twice.  Might have even been down to 2%).

Next up is a home-and-home against Detroit, starting tonight.  Go Caps!

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