Friday, February 9, 2007

A win is a win

Just like there are no moral victories, there are no moral losses either. The Caps and Kings played one of the most disjointed, ugliest games of the year last night. There was no real flow of play, and no skilled player was able to impose his will on the contest. Nevertheless, the Capitals needed a win and they got one, with Dainus Zubrus chipping home a loose puck in OT to give the Caps a 4-3 win.

The level of play last night befitted two teams at the lower end of the standing. Mathieu Garon was atrocious for the Kings, surrendering a long range slapper to Boyd Gordon and generally looking beatable all night. The Capitals, for their part, looked like a bunch of mites on ice, playing poor positional hockey, not playing the body well, and looking completely disorganized. Richard Zednik appears to have finally hit a bit of a wall, as he was invisible in terms of impact for the first time since his return from injury.

The Capitals did have one bright spot midway through the second period, scoring on what looked to be a set play as Ovechkin looped back from the opposing blueline to take a pass sent from behind the goal line, drawing a defender with him. He then laid the puck off to Zubrus, who was streaking down the right wing. Zubrus fed the puck to Ben Clymer, who faked the quick shot and was able to wrap the puck around and in before Garon was able to close off the far post. I'd put odds at even money that Hanlon had the boys working a version of this play in practice.

If the Capitals weren't in such dire need of a win, this game would have been completely forgettable. But two points are two points and at this point, we'll take em and run.

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