Thursday, February 22, 2007

Better system, better play, better result

Even though the Caps couldn't grab the full 2 points against San Jose, they showed improvement in almost every area. Brad Johnson played a solid all around game, the defense did a good job of keeping San Jose's forwards in check, and the offense finally showed signs of life. And while the result may have been somewhat of a disappointment considering the Caps had a 2-0 lead halfway through the first, the overall play of the team was not.

The sole area where the Caps still can't get anything going is the power play. They just can't seem to get anything going with the man advantage, which has absolutely killed them over the past few games. I'm confident that if they continue to move away from the trap (and the players get more chances to work in the offensive zone) that their skilled players will find their touch again. It's just a shame that it took this long.

It's not hard to see why Alex Ovechkin's slump hasn't ended. The Sharks often played a four man box which surrounded the Russian Machine, practically daring anyone else on the team to make a play. There was even a point in overtime when the Sharks played a four man box on Ovechkin when he entered the zone. Think about it. There are only four men on the ice in overtime! San Jose committed their ENTIRE TEAM to marking one player. Unfortunately, Zubrus and Clark just haven't been able to make anyone pay, so the double and triple teaming of Ovie will continue.

What the Caps are sorely missing was on display last night in a San Jose uniform. Joe Thornton is the straw that stirs San Jose's drink. The guy is an unbelievable passer, as evidenced by San Jose's second goal on the power play. From the right board, he drew in his forechecker, faked to one side, then put a pass between the legs of the defender diagonally across two thirds of the offensive zone perfectly onto the tape of a waiting teammate, who fired a point blank shot then was able to bang home the rebound. Dainus, THAT is what a number one center does. Take notes.

Up next for the Caps is a home and home set against the Devils. Not the best news for a team looking to find its offense. And while I'm not quite ready to start posting about the Caps draft position and the players available, the time is getting nearer.

1 comment:

Hockey Amor said...

Even if Zubie takes notes, he can't execute it. He's a strong third-line center, nothing more.