Friday, January 25, 2008

Capitals Eke Out Win, Continue Roll; Caps 2; Leafs 1

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Deuce:

After my long-winded post yesterday, I'll keep it short and to the point today. The Caps put together their most boring performance since Boudreau took over (with possibly the exception of that 0-2 Bruins loss a few games ago), but still managed to walk away with a much-needed win over the Leafs. This, of course, continues the Caps' streak of not losing back-to-back games since BB took over behind the bench. This resiliance, more than anything else, is the reason the Caps have skyrocketed in the standings since BB took over. It's hard to be under .500 when you don't lose back-to-back games! Anyway, on to the game points:

Erskine was a monster again last night, and I swear it's wearing off on the other defensemen. Eminger and Jurcina are throwing their bodies around out there with wild abandon. Of course, there were a couple of times when poor Johnny couldn't catch Blake behind the net, and looked a bit silly, but that's what you get with him. We'll take the physicality and give up the speed. Erskine's last shift (the last of the game) was priceless. He absolutely destroyed Blake behind the net, Blake gets up and goes to the front of the net. Erskine blasts him with a cross-check in the back that actually sent Blake flying out of the TV picture. Blake gets up, comes back towards the front, Erskine spears him in the nuts. Game over. See, Johnny understands something the younger defensemen don't -- with 10 seconds left, it's better to take a delayed penalty than to let a guy stand in front of your net and screen your goalie. Good job, Jonnny.

I guess it's safe to say Kozlov is a streaky scorer. His shooting percentage was approximately .03% going into the Florida game. Since then, it's about 30%. And twice, we actually saw him almost hit someone out there. Amazing. Dainius who?

Um, should I mention the elephant in the room? Brent Johnson was really, really sharp. If Kolzig is in that game, do we win 2-1? Not the way he's been playing lately.

Jeff Schultz is still too weak to take on most NHL forwards. We watched him line a Leaf up last night, step up, throw all of his 6'6" frame into the guy, and . . . the Leaf kept skating as if he'd just encountered a slight breeze playing shinny. Not good.

All in all, a crappy game, but we escaped with two very important points leaving the Capitals just one point out of first in the Southeast, with two games at hand. How's that playoff meter look now, Peerless?

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