Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beer Olympics Lineup

If the Caps held a beer Olympics to improve chemistry, these would be the projected line-ups.

Canada VS. Rest of the World

Team Red (Canadian decent)
Jay Beagle
Matt Bradley
Jason Chimera
Eric Fehr
Boyd Gordon
D.J. King
Mike Knuble
Brooks Laich
Mathieu Perreault
Karl Alzner
John Erskine
Mike Green
Scott Hannan
Jeff Schultz
Tyler Sloan
Braden Holtby

Team White (The World)
Nicklas Backstrom
Matt Hendricks
Marcus Johansson
Alex Ovechkin
Alexander Semin
David Steckel
John Carlson
Tom Poti
Michal Neuvirth
Semyon Varlamov

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Caps Lose in a SO: Toronto Provides a Questionable Review

The Caps fell in overtime to the Rangers on Monday night in one of the more crafty shootouts this season.  Despite the lack of shots by the Caps, the number of scoring chances seemed to mirror that of a normal 40-shot night.  The Rangers' net-minder Biron, whom the caps have previously faced numerous times with the Flyers, proved to be stingy between the pipes.  Braden Holtby, who has been spectacular in relief of the injured Michael Neuvirth, showed his first signs of weakness in the shootout.  Usually, when the Caps go 2/4 in a shootout, they get the win.  However, Holtby allowed 3 SO goals in 4 attempts which included embarrassing fake-outs on the first 2. 

Washington's lone goal in regulation came on a crossing backdoor tip-in by Matt Hendricks.  The refs unfortunately played a large role in this game, specifically in two areas - a "diving" call on Alexander Ovechkin, and the goal review on a batted puck into the neck by Gaborik.  Once again, the Caps get absolutely no love from Toronto's review "team," as they upheld a goal that was clearly struck by Gaborik's glove before floating into the net passed Holtby.  Not only did the puck last touch Gaborik's glove before going in, but his glove was also moving forward toward the net in a "push" or hand-pass like motion.  At least the Caps now know that when you hand-pass a goal, all you need to do to fool Toronto's reviewers is look around like a lost dog who just took pissed on the carpet and they will assume that you didn't mean to leave that stain.  Arguably, that is now 2 wins that Toronto has cost Washington; the first being the December 23rd Mike Green vs. Marco-Andre Fleury "can't see the puck so it must not be in the goal" game.  It's getting old Toronto, lets start to call them fair. 

The good news is...Ovechkin's puck control and decision making is improving, and Holtby is looking solid, as long as the Caps don't go to a shootout.  Next stop, Atlanta.