Postgame Notes and Oberservations
I'm going to keep it brief because I've got to be up in a few hours to catch an early morning flight back to Dulles.
*Alexander Semin has been placed on injured reserve, General Manager George McPhee confirmed after the game. But since the move is retroactive to when he injured his right ankle against the Flyers last week, he is eligible to come off IR against the 'Canes. McPhee said that he thinks Semin will be able to play, but whether he does will be a coaching decision.
*Defenseman Mike Green likely had one of his best games as an NHLer. He played 20:35, 6:40 of which came on the power play. He also assisted on Viktor Kozlov's game-clinching goal in the third period. Now let's see if he can do it consistently.
*Coach Glen Hanlon said Alex Ovechkin played "his best game as a Washington Capital". I've seen all of them, and I would be hard pressed to disagree. He skated 20:35 and was a force at both ends. That's right, I said both ends. He finished with six shots on goal, an assist and a huge backcheck late in the game that prevented a scoring chance.
*Brent Johnson spoke about how the majority of the Thrashers' shots (they had 29 of them) were kept to the outside, away from prime scoring locations. That's a good sign, even if the Caps permitted a few more than they would have liked to.
*Defenseman Brian Pothier skated only 12:18 and not much at all in the third period. Hed led the team with two minor penalties.
*Brashear played only 2:28. I've got the sense that might happen a lot this season.
*I know it's only one game, but anyone who has watched the team for a few years had to notice how much more the Caps controlled the puck. Passes went to their intended targets. Michael Nylander, in particular, held onto the puck until he was ready to give it up.
*Nicklas Backstrom had a strong debut. He got his first NHL point on Nylander's power play goal and saw 3:46 of his 14:45 with the man advantage. Hanlon said afterward that he sees Backstrom eventually skating 20 minutes or more, and in all situations, on most nights as he gets more comfortable.
That's it for now.
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