What really irks me is the failure of Washington to capitalize on the power play.* We went 0-for-4, which is unconscionable. It doesn’t take an eagle eye** to see that we need the major powers to produce more. The shot leaders were Semin with 3 and Johansson with 2. Ovie and Backstrom had 1 apiece despite getting monumental*** PP time. Ovechkin should be positively sheepish**** about that game — I know the Rangers are focusing some serious D on the Capitals captain, but individuals such as Hendricks receiving exactly 0:00 of power play time are still managing 1 shots on goal, and if you’re getting nearly four and a half minutes, I don’t think it’s excessive to expect legitimate production.
But that’s pretty much always been the book on the Capitals. When Ovechkin and Backstrom, Semin and Green are clicking, we’re nigh-unbeatable. The Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble line was our bread and butter, because Backstrom could get the amazing pass to Ovechkin, and if Ovie didn’t pot it, Knuble would be there to slam home the rebound. When our top guys don’t get it done, we look like the Stars — somewhere on the boundary between playoffs and tee time. I guess what we really look like are this year’s Capitals. And frankly, that’s not good enough for this team or their fans.
The team, and especially Brooks Laich, pretty much concur, saying they needed to clean up their game. Mythical Beast Jason Chimera decried the effort level, and “several players” were not happy with the intensity. I agree. The Capitals looked sluggish, they fell apart in the 3rd, and they managed a pathetic number of shots on goal. But I’m not despairing. I think they can still steal a game at MSG before coming home.
*This is to mark every awful pun I make in this paragraph. 1!
***3! Like the Washington Monument, eh? Eh?
****4! This is a pun in Russian, I promise.
Game’s at 7:30 on NBCSports. Read about the competish over at the Intermission Report, though I’m told Black and Blueshirts will be up shortly.