Capitals-Canadiens recap

The last time the Caps  went into Bell Centre, they were stonewalled by Jaroslav Halak 53 times and shut down by the defense tandem of Hal Gill and Josh Gorges. Returning there must have spawned some bad memories for the team but they prevailed with a sloppy, but solid victory. Things looked like a repeat of game 6 for a little bit. The early action in the game was frantic and both teams were creating chances, only thing different were the two awful goals and the fight. Then things settled down and it looked like the Caps were about to be shutdown by another hot goalie, this one coming in the form of Carey Price. However, strong efforts on the penalty kill and a few Canadien miscues led to the Caps coming out on top 4-2.

Notes/Observations

– I have a friend that’s a Habs fan and we tend to act in similar ways towards our team. Cautiously optimistic and well-aware of the team’s flaws and the Habs are similar to the Caps right now, in a way. Both are riddled with injuries. Washington was without their top 2 centers, their best defenseman and two other d-men while the Habs are missing arguably their two best defensemen and two of their centers had to leave the game.

– Marcus Johansson had his best game as an NHL-er tonight in my opinion. His first goal was gift-wrapped but he showed great hustle on the second goal and was doing his best to create chances all night. He was also great on the penalty kill, too. Him and Ovechkin have been working very well together the past couple of games. Makes no Backstrom or Arnott slightly less painful. Slightly.

– Speaking of the PK, they were perfect on the night again and they were really aggressive against the Habs powerplay attacks. They even created a few chances of their own while a man down. Mike Knuble stood out to be in particular.

– John Erskine was scratched because of an injury and Poti’s not ready to come back so guess who got a sweater instead? Guess who had the worst Fenwick and Corsi rating on the team? Guess who gift-wrapped multiple chances for the Habs, constantly turned the puck over and committed a dumb penalty? Yep, Tyler. Fucking. Sloan.

– While the penalty kill was good, the Habs injuries and line-juggling helped us out since none of their passes were on target and they didn’t look cohesive at all.

– When I first saw Matt Hendricks’ “disallowed goal,” I thought the refs got it right but I only saw the CSN feed. Then I got to see the TSN feed with the view behind the net and saw the puck go in BEFORE the net came off. How in the world did the refs or Toronto not get a view of that?

– Braden Holtby was shaky early on. Let in a bad goal to Travis Moen and gave up some brutal rebounds but he settled down and was good enough for the rest of the game.

– Hard to fault this game on Price if you’re a Habs fan. First goal was bad, second goal was a great effort by Brooks Laich, third goal he gave up kind of a bad rebound and the fourth was on a 2-on-1 thanks to PK Subban making a bad pinch. If it wasn’t for him, the game would have been over way earlier.

– Eric Fehr left the game in the first period and didn’t return. Sigh…let’s just hope it was for precautionary reasons.

– I’ve been frustrated with Marco Sturm. He’s looking like another Jason Chimera out there minus the physical play and leadership. Two bad penalties tonight but just as I tweeted something about him needing to be useful, he makes a beautiful pass to Knuble to seal the game. Boy am I eatin’ crow.

– Hal Gill sure is a lot more easier to play against when he’s paired with Subban and not Josh Gorges isn’t he?

– Schultz-Wideman didn’t exactly look too spectacular tonight. but they seemed to settle down later in the game.

– Becoming more likely that Laich and Knuble will reach 20 goals this year. That makes me happy.

Like I said, sloppy game but hey, at least this win was by more than one goal! We head into Detroit for another tough contest tomorrow against the Wings.

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