Monday, March 19, 2007

What a difference a weekend makes.

Wow, that sure felt good, didn't it?

The Caps finally broke out of their slump this weekend, lighting up both Toronto and Tampa by a combined score of 12-2. The Caps rode strong goaltending by Olie Kolzig and two superhuman games by Alexander Semin. The scoring line on Semin for the two games? 4 goals, 2 assists. That's six points in two games. And it's not like he was tapping in easy scores and racking up second assists. His incredible display of stickhandling drew coverage away from Boyd Gordon, which gave Gordo a shot roughly as difficult as hitting the ocean from the beach. And as for his goals? They were really, really, really, REALLY great individual efforts.

Just as impressive was his puck possession game, which has reached a ridiculously high level. At one point, Semin stickhandled around two pressing forwards and shed a solid body check from a defender, all the while keeping the puck within two inches of his stick. At times he looked like a coach playing a game of keep away with mites on ice, such was his dominance.

Not entirely unrelated to his play, he also broke his own unofficial record for most smiles in a game. Quite a change from a guy we weren't sure had teeth for most of the season because of his stoic demeanor.

Semin's outstanding performance overshadowed strong play by rookies Tomas Fleischmann and Alexander Giroux. Giroux scored his first two goals as a Cap, and Fleischmann made several top quality plays including a great behind the net feed that netted Boyd Gordon his second gimme of the weekend. If Flash's strong play continues, and there's no reason why it can't, he looks like a viable long term second liner on the right side.

All in all, it was a good weekend to be a Caps fan.

No comments: