Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Caps fall to Sabres, 3-1

The Caps defeat at the hands of the Sabres last night was an interesting game. I thought the Caps played three pretty different periods, and as we have seen with them this year, they looked less then vigorous in the third period. I have two thoughts coming out of last nights game: I think how the Caps respond to this defeat is going to go a long way to deciding how they respond to defeat the rest of the year (especially, under Boudreau). Second, the Capitals need to find a way to bounce back into the game after giving up the first goal. Time and again, they seem to regress after allowing a first goal. Last night, they bounced back pretty quickly from their 1-0 deficit with a phenomenal goal from Ovie...and then they turned over the puck twice to the Sabres. Its the same problem Glen Hanlon faced, and I hope Bruce Boudreau has the solution.

Other thoughts from last night's game:

- Steve Eminger is not making a case for himself. He supposedly had an assist on Ovie's goal, but there is no doubt that goal was all Ovie and little Eminger.
- What happened to the Brashear, Backstrom and Bradley line later in the game? They played heavy minutes at first, and then faded. They were causing turnovers and throwing hard hits. Boudreau might have pulled them for lines with more offensive punch, but I thought they were putting some healthy fear into the Sabres
- I will never say a bad word about John Erskine. I am too scared of him
-Jeff Schultz, Matt Pettinger and Milan Jurcina were scratches. Is this Boudreau's sign to Pettinger to start scoring some goals?
- The Caps dont seem to have a problem shooting on goal, just a problem getting the puck in. They ended last night with 28 shots on goal, compared to the Sabres 31. This is pretty consistent with other games this year
- Official attendance was 11,204. About 10,000 of those were Sabres fans. This is better then last year, when about 11,000 of them were Sabres bandwagoners.



1) We had a slightly different take on the game. The sabres seemed to have a jump on the caps most of the night. If not for a couple of amazing Kolzig saves and a cross bar it could have been 5 or 6-1
2) Fleischmann seems to be just behind on most plays. He has the moves and offensive sense, but just can't complete them at NHL speed
3) The 4th line was broken up because the 2nd line was a horror show. They had to put backstrom(who looks better each game) on the 2nd line
4) Emminger and Erskine was not a good combo to place together. Erskine is not fleet a foot, and Steve hasn't played much. It was a problem waiting to hapen, but we're glad the coach is trying new things/people to see what works/what doesn't
5) Bradley needs to not play anymore

Shmee said...

1) I dont know. I missed the first few minutes of the period one, but I thought the Caps were pretty good in period two. period three was a mess most of the time.
2)Agreed. Can Boudreau get more out of him?
3)Good point, didnt notice that. Saw Backstrom out there, but I stopped counting lines after the beginning of the third period.
4)Eskine means well, and can fight, but is more an enforcer then a defensemen. That said, I am still scared of him.
5) Gotta disagree. I have seats pretty close to the ice, and I saw Bradley shaking up the Sabres and turning some pucks loose. I thought he was effective in that role. No one else seems to be stepping up into it.

DMG said...

Is there somewhere to go on the net to get official attendance figures?

Shmee said...

The Caps will put the official number on their game day box score, which is available on the WaCaps website. I have heard complaints that this number is usually inflated by counting number of tickets sold, instead of people in house, but dont know if that is true or not.

They called yesterday night for 11K and that looked about right.

DMG said...

Okay, thank you. I'm planning on doing something on the attendance when time permits me.

I think the whole NHL measures attendance by tickets distributed rather than headcount; I think it's a league policy

Victor said...

dmg, you're right: Tickets distributed is what they announce. You can also get stats, including attendance, from NHL.com. Say what you will about nhl.com otherwise, but they are great about making the official scoresheets available in a timely manner.