Thursday, March 12, 2009

Caps 2 Flyers 1

Excuse me while I channel my inner meathead...

"Yeah baby! Wooo!!! Feel my fuckin' bicep!"

What a game tonight. For the second straight game the Caps came out and earned two points. They came into The Building Formerly Known As The F.U. Center and outplayed the Philadelphia Flyers. I hope these last two games have shown the Caps what they are capable of when they work hard and do the little things. Yes, the highlight reel goals sell tickets and (occasionally) get you on SportsCenter, but its the mucking and grinding goals that win playoff series. Here now are some passes and fails.

- Epic Pass - The criticism of Jose Theodore all year has been that he can't steal games for the Caps. Well he stole the 2nd period. It was the only time Philly really turned it into their kind of game and Theo was more than up for the challenge. But for an excellent look by Mike Richards, Theo might have had a shutout.

- Epic Pass - Brooks Laich. Dude was born to play games like this.

- Epic Pass - To Flyers management for getting rid of Scottie Upshall. This game reminded me a lot of the Caps-Bruins games. It had a lot of flow back and forth and both teams played a clean, hard-hitting game. In my opinion, getting rid of Upshall and the nonsense he brought to the rink - diving, flopping, borderline cheapshotting - had a lot to do with that.

- Epic Fail - Not many tonight but if I must give one, I'll give it to the officials for making that chinsy interference call on Nicklas Backstrom with less than 5 minutes to go in the game. In a game that was so well-played by both teams why did they feel the need to call this borderline penalty? I agreed with Craig Laughlin's assessment. You call that in the first period but not with less than five minutes to go. Also, I give the refs another slight fail for disallowing Tomas Fleischmann's goal in the 3rd period. They waived it off (the second time Flash has had that happen to him in two games) because of goalie interference on Michael Nylander but it was clear that Nyls was shoved into Flyers goalie Martin Biron by Jeff Carter and was not incidental contact.

-Epic Fail - To the Philly fans. Mostly 'cause its a Caps post, its my blog and I'll do what I want. But also because they booed for 4 straight minutes after a Flyers goal was disallowed because Mike Knuble cross-checked Jeff Schultz in the back. It was an obvious penalty call but the Flyer fans acted like an Eagles game broke out.But the funny part was that just 5 minutes later, Backstrom gets that weak interference call and all the sudden the refs are OK again. Only in Philadelphia.

- Epic Pass - After a heavy collision with Flyers defenceman Ryan Parent, Alex Ovechkin cranked his game up big time. Fueled by a relentless booing from the Philly faithful, Ovie had the normally aggressive Flyers D on their heels and finished with a goal, an assist and almost 10 shots on net. It just seems that whenever he gets hit or is booed like that Ovie raises his game up a notch.

- Epic Pass - Philly fans may say Ovie's goal was a lucky turnover but there was no luck involved. Ovechkin and Alex Semin forced the Flyers to make a bad clearing attempt and much like LeBron James, Ovie isn't going to miss many layups.

- Epic Pass - To the Flyer coaches for starting Biron over Antero Nittymaki. In the three previous games against the Caps, Nittymaki looked like Patrick Roy. Biron played very well tonight but I'm sure there is not a Caps fan out there who was upset to see him in goal tonight.

So thats it for a very successful road trip, two wins, four very important points. Now its back to the Phone Booth for a Saturday game against Carolina before heading off for a five-game road trip. If the Caps bring this kind of effort, like we've seen against Nashville and Philly, there is no reason they should not be successful. Until the next time, let's chalk up one more...for the good guys.

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