Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Caps 3 Panthers 0

Now that was more like it. After getting murdered in Atlanta last night, the Caps bounced back with a very strong defensive effort to take two important points from the Florida Panthers in the hockey mecca known as Sunrise, Fl.

Sometimes in athletics, the best thing that can happen is getting right back out there the next day. When you lose as bad as the Caps did last night, you just want to get back out there on the ice and kick the shit out of whoever is next on the schedule. While the Caps didn't put on their shit kickers and kick some shit for the entire 60 minutes, they sure did for the last 20. The same Caps who were shredded by Atlanta last night morphed into the 1995 New Jersey Devils, holding the Kitty Cats to 0, I repeat ZERO, shots on goal in the third period. This is a Panthers team fighting for their playoff lives, the kind of desperate team that has given the Caps troubles this year. Hell, the last time the Caps saw the Panthers, Florida put a real thumping on Washington with a 6-2 victory at the Phone Booth.

Tonight? Different story. The Caps won the kind of ugly, defensive game they need to win to go places in April and May. This Caps team plays much better anyway when they focus on defence and not all trying to be Harry High School heroes out there.

A couple quick notes:

-I thought Sergei Fedorov looked very strong tonight. Maybe the game off last night gave him a little spring in his step. He is almost 40 and despite being in great shape, a little rest can help keep Feds fresh for the postseason when his two-way skills and experience will be very important.

- The big criticism lately has been about the Caps lack of secondary scoring. Well tonight, one of those secondary guys, Viktor Kozlov, scored tonight on a Sakic-like wrist shot.

- When Brooks Laich scored the first (and game-winning) goal shorthanded, it got me to thinking - when was the last time the Caps scored shorthanded? It seems like forever ago.

- Alex Ovechkin didn't get #50 tonight but Mike Green did get #25 in an open net to move him that much closer to the 30-goal plateau.

- I wonder how Jose Theodore kept himself busy since he didn't have any work in third period. Did he look in the stands for some groupie love? Was he contemplating writing a novel? Thinking of asking the usher to get him a green beer? I'm curious to know what goalies, who are strange birds to begin with, think about when they don't see any shots.

So that's it for tonight. The four game road trip through the Southeast Division continues Thursday night in Tampa Bay. Until then, let's chalk up one more...for the good guys!

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