Nosebleeder’s Weekly Review: 2 for 3 Ain’t Half Bad (Jan 8-14)
While things this past week didn’t start out as well as the Caps would have liked, they definitely were able to turn things around by the end. Earning W’s in two of the three games played, the Caps secured a spot only two points out of the division lead by the week’s end. Any complaints?
@ Los Angeles Kings – 1/9/12
So I thought those Kings couldn’t score this season?
Despite getting off to a commanding 1-0 lead quickly while on the road, nothing else really seemed to go the Caps way in this game. Momentum quickly shifted in favor of the Kings and never really seemed to shift back.
After giving up four goals in just two periods, Vokoun, the games starting goalie, found himself siting on the bench in the third while Neuvirth found himself between the pipes. Unfortunately, Neuvy also failed to keep the puck out of the net, giving up a goal on only eight shots. Yikes.
Final score, Kings 5 Caps 2.
Talk about a quick start – On the road, Marcus Johansson was able to score the games first goal in just 1:34. Too bad the momentum didn’t keep up for the Caps.
Solid defense in the third? – Despite giving up a combined 27 shots between the first and second periods, the Caps allowed the Kings only 8 shots in the third…which is good right? Too bad the game was already basically lost.
Power play gone away? – Despite getting three chances on the power play, the Caps were unable to register any PPG’s. That will rarely win you a game.
Clutch performers? – Going into the third period down 4-1, the Caps still only managed to record a game low 7 shots. That’s not the kind of third period stats you want to have when you need at least three goals to tie the game.
Is that Tim Tebow on the ice? – Nope, thats just Jack Johnson celebrating his goal.
vs Pittsburgh Penguins – 1/11/12
Capitals Penguins; what could be better? A matchup like this one usually gains a ton of national media attention the entire week leading up to it. Oh wait, I forgot to mention that neither Crosby, Letang, Staal, Backstrom, or Green were playing.
So this game might not have had as much hype going into it as it usually does, but regardless, a Caps Pens game never disappoints, except for sometimes on the scoreboard. Good thing this time the outcome of game didn’t disappoint the home fans, though the lack of goal scoring might have.
Remember just over a year ago when the Caps Pens game was so close that it went to a million rounds in the shootout, only to have the Caps lose? Well this game was just as close, but the total opposite in terms of goals scored. What’s even stranger is that the lone goal for the game came not on an Ovechkin or Crosby breakaway, but on a Jason Chimera breakaway.
Final score, Caps 1 Pens 0.
Vokouna Matata – It means no worries, and so did Vokoun in this game. Facing 30 shots, Vokoun came out unscathed with a shutout.
Kundratek debuts – After it looked like his NHL career was in doubt, Kundratek was acquired via trade and made his NHL debut soon after. Though he remained pointless in his first game, Kundratek managed to get a shot on goal and blocked one of the opposing team’s shots. Hey Mattias Sjogren, maybe you should’ve considered something like this happening before you left town for Sweden.
Where is everyone? – No Crosby, no Letang, no Staal, no Backstrom, and no Green all thanks to injury. Plus, the only players to register a point in this game were Jason Chimera, Jeff Halpern, and Joel Ward…cough..where ya at, Ovi?
vs Tampa Bay Lightning 1/13/12
Revenge always feels great…especially when it includes a Troy Brouwer hat trick.
For most of the game, things seemed to go well for the Caps. Leading 3-1 going into the third period, all the boys in red had to do was hold on. While they were able to do this, at more than one occasion it seemed as if they might not.
With under four minutes left, the Lightning were able to convert on the power play thanks to a silly Caps penalty, making this a one goal game. Now with the goalie pulled, things started to get a bit scary. Thankfully though, Troy Brouwer was able to use this to his advantage, scoring on the empty net for his first ever NHL hat trick. Game over. Wait, what? The Caps gave up another goal withe 11 seconds left to once again make it a one goal game? Oh boy. Thank God they came out of this one with the W.
Final score, Caps 4 Bolts 3.
Hey hey, check out that power play – The Caps’ power play was able to convert on two of four chances to make up for two of the Caps four goals. Neat.
PK is Okay – Though the Caps did manage to give the Lightning five power play chances, they still managed to kill off all but one.
Alzner drops the gloves – Karl Alzner dropped the gloves and fought Tampa Bay’s Steve Downie for the first ever fight in Alzner’s NHL career. Who knew Alzner could lay some punches and talk some trash? Take note, Jay Beagle. (Sorry, too soon?)
Ding dong, Semin’s goal chances are dead – During a power play in the third, Semin rang the pipe twice on back to back shots. Unfortunately, this means that Semin was only one short of a pipe hattrick and this also means he didn’t score on either two great chances.
Vokeswagon keeps chuggin along – Despite a rough game to start the week in Los Angeles, Vokoun continued to start in goal for the remainder of the games this week…and it paid off. Vokoun was able to produce a shutout against the Penguins and came up big when it mattered most against the Lightning to put two more W’s in the win column.
Yeah, that Brouwer guy is alright, I guess -Not only did Brouwer record a hat trick this week, but he also had 20 hits 6 shots in his three games played this week.
Hello Ottawa – Much to no ones surprise, Alex Ovechkin was selected to play in the 2012 All-Star Game. Though, much to his surprise, Dennis Wideman was also selected to play in the 2012 All-Star Game. Click here for further reading.
No skills for the Caps – So both Ovechkin and Wideman are excited to play in the All-Star game later this month…but neither of them want to participate in the skills competition. It’s not that either of them have anything against it, Ovechkin just would rather let someone else win it for a change and Wideman doesn’t feel confident enough to participate in any of the events…so he’d rather just take some pictures.
Shots, shots, shots? – While it might be one of Ovi’s favorite songs to hear while hittin’ the clubs instead of working out during the offseason, this isn’t about LMFAO’s song. In all three games played this week, the Caps were held to under 10 shots in every period. What’s even more alarming? As the week went on, they got fewer and fewer shots, with 22 in LA, 21 against the Pens, and only 19 against the Lightning. Um, at least they still got two W’s, I guess. Kind of silly that they still lost in the game they shot the most in.
Roman wasn’t built in a day – Remember how bad Hamrlik was earlier this season? Well don’t look now, but he’s been a minus in only one game since the end of November, and he was only a minus-1 in that game. In the 16 games since November 29, Hamrlik has taken 14 shots, assisted on 4 goals, served only 6 PIM’s, and owns a +/- rating of plus-7. Pretty good numbers considering that he was a minus-10 with 18 PIM’s and only 18 shots in the previous 22 games this season. (Stats as of Saturday after the TB game)
I’m feeling generous. The lack of shots fired and only two of three games won is what gives this week 4.5/5 nosebleeds. This week probably should have a worse rating, but I’ll give it this anyways.
Also, please excuse that this is a day late. We’ll do our best to get next week’s review to you a day earlier…I promise/hope.
Posted on January 16, 2012, in Nosebleeder's Breakdown and tagged Alex Ovechkin, Fight, Injury, Jason Chimera, Karl Azlner, Los Angeles Kings, Mike Green, NHL, Nicklas Backstrom, Pittsburgh Penguins, Roman Hamrlik, Sidney Crosby, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tomas Kundratek, Tomas Vokoun, Washington Capitals. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.