Rangers 4, Caps 3
After tonight's disheartening 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers, the Capitals have scored 18 goals and allowed 15. As I'm typing this, the first number leads the league while the second is also tops.
Coach Bruce Boudreau has seen this before, and perhaps it's the reason he was so short-tempered in the postgame press conference.
"Any time you have the lead [late] in the game, you have to if you're going to be a good team," he said. "We've blow two leads like that and almost a third in four games. It's a really upsetting trend that better stop in a hurry."
Boudreau had plenty to be upset about. There was Jose Theodore's third period meltdown. There was the sloppy defense in front of his goalie. The lackluster play of the third and fourth lines. And a power play that was anything but.
It all added up to another letdown in a game the Capitals could have and should have won, especially after Henrik Lundqvist gift-wrapped Nicklas Backstrom's first goal.
On to the notes and (but mostly) quotes:
*Boudreau on Marian Gaborik's third-period goals: "Both of them were top of the circles. Those are the ones in the third period you've got to stop. You have to stop them. [Theodore] kept us in the game for most of the game, but those ones -- goals three and four -- that you've got to stop."
Before the game, Boudreau joked that he might need until Game 65 to settle on a No. 1 goalie. At this rate, that might be optimistic.
*Boudreau on the power play, which went 1 for 9, despite enjoying 1:33 with a two-man advantage: "If you're going to play like individuals, you're going to get individual results and nothing is going to happen. You go out there and do what we do and we're successful and play as a team, you're going to get success. It's a team game."
*Boudreau on the third and fourth lines: "If you're not going to score, you had better not be on for any goals against."
As you may have guessed, that was not the case. Both lines were on for goals.
While the Caps are putting up a ton of goals, the secondary scoring needs to kick in, especially if they're going to need to outscore opponents every night. All of the goals have come from Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Brendan Morrison and Mike Knuble. That's it. No grinders. No defensemen.
*Backstrom is now leading the league in points with 10 after his two-goal performance. He said he was not trying to score on the long shot that beat Lundqvist; he was simply dumping it in.
*Boudreau on the defense: "We don't talk about offense. We talk about defense, play away from the puck. The guys who are making mistakes are not first-year guys, they are guys who have been in the league for 10 years, five years, six years. They know what their jobs are. There's not one first-year guy on the defense. The youngest is Jeff Schultz. This is his fourth year, third year in the NHL. These guys should know what the hell they're doing. Right now, we're not playing well enough."
*The Rangers blocked 22 shots; the Caps blocked eight.
*The Caps have come out on top in the faceoff circle in each of their first four games. Tonight, they won 59 percent, led by Boyd Gordon, who won four of five but was in the penalty box when Gaborik scored the winner.
*Eric Fehr skated in the pregame warmup and was listed in the official lineup as a healthy scratch, which means he has been activated from injured reserve. I'm told it's possible that he'll be sent to Hershey for a conditioning stint this weekend.
That's it for now. I'll check in from KCI in the morning. Practice is at 11.
Posted by: Hatfield223 | October 9, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: capsfan387 | October 9, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Section117 | October 9, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: HappyWeagle | October 9, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 555Mass | October 9, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: wahoo_Mike | October 9, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: superpaqman | October 9, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 9, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: fehrrocks | October 9, 2009 4:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: trunkenmath | October 9, 2009 5:12 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 7:04 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: fanohock1 | October 9, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: breaklance | October 9, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.