Caps-Thrashers post-game thoughts

So did tonight’s game remind anyone else of games 5-7 of the post-game series against Montreal last year? 47 shots on net, one goal, lots of blocked shots, ineffective powerplay and a 3-1 loss. Yeah, that sounds very familiar. I’m not freaking out right now but it’s very frustrating the team stuck in “Round 1” mode in some games this year despite all of the signs of improvement we’ve seen in other games. I’m not taking anything away from Ondrej Pavelec since he was phenomenal with his 46 save performance but the team was definitely not doing their best job at getting pucks to the net. The Thrashers (namely Brent Sopel) were blocking a ton of our shots tonight (20 to be exact) and a lot of our chances didn’t come from the slot or from good angles at all. We could have done a better job of crashing the net, just like we should have done against Halak last post-season. When it’s all said and done, all you can do is tip your hat to the opposing goaltender and get ready for the next game.

Other thoughts/observations

– It’s nice to see Ovechkin finally break the goal scoring drought. If only we could have had more shifts like that all game where we pinned the Thrashers in their own zone and finally capitalized. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of those kinds of shifts this game.

– Pavelec earned the first star honors in my Southeast Wrap-up last week and he’s looking to have that again at this rate. He is playing out of his mind right now and could carry the Thrashers into a playoff spot considering the rest of his team is picking up the slack.

– Alexander Burmistrov has drawn some comparison’s to our #8 considering his skillset and tonight you saw why. Made another nice move to score the Thrashers 2nd goal.

– Scott Hannan only received 14 minutes of ice time…which is odd because I thought we would utilize him more. Then I remembered that Tyler Sloan was in the lineup. It figures that we acquire another D-man for depth purposes and then two of our other ones get hurt.

– It was a rough night for Eric Fehr in terms of luck. He couldn’t find the back of the net no matter how hard he tried. Story of his season so far.

– I don’t think David Steckel will be suspended for that knee-on-knee hit on Tobias Enstrom. Steckel was going for a clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit, Enstrom tried to get out of the way, Steckel continued to skate through and their knees collided. Ugly hit, bad result but I don’t think it was dirty/suspendable.

We only have one more game against the Thrashers left this season but I have a feeling that we could see them again in the post-season and I hope we can do a better job of learning how to play against them if we want to avoid another first round embarrassment because what I saw out there tonight was Montreal Part Deux.

Three Stars

1. Ondrej Pavelec

2. Rich Peverley

3. Alexander Ovechkin

Around The League

– Rough night for a Caps fan indeed. Joe Corvo also scored tonight and Tomas Fleischmann has two points in his debut for the Avalanche.

– Tim Thomas’ save on Francios Beauchemin in overtime was the best save of this season. It will be hard to top it. Brain Burke took a huge sigh of relief when Kris Versteeg scored the game tying goal and again when Phil Kessel won the shootout.



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