Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Big offense from an unexpected source

If you heard nothing about last night's game, and someone told you that one of the Caps had two goals and two assists on the night and the Caps won 4-1, who would you bet had the 4 point night?
Lets see:
The Russian Machine? Nope.
Alexander Semin? Nope.
Nick Backstrom? Nope.
Kozlov? Didn't even dress.
Mike Green? Sorry.

How long would it take to come up with Brooks Laich?

That's the great thing about Brooks' performance last night. The team has placed a lot of faith in Brooks, for the last several games he's been rewarding that faith with a level of play that, quite honestly, I don't think many folks (including us) had in him. But up until the last 5 games or so, he just hadn't been able to break through on the scoresheet.

But man, has he ever this past two weeks. In his last 5 games, Brooks has tallied better than a point a game (4 goals, 2 A) and has been playing rough and tumble hockey in every zone. Last night he scored two goal scorer's goals in tight against a legitimate number one goaltender in Niklas Backstrom. If there's been one complaint we've had against Brooks, it was that he just couldn't finish off plays. With the Caps season on the line, he's stepped it up and is starting to find the twine. That's especially important given the "attention" opposing teams continue to give the first line. Secondary scoring will likely determine whether the Caps make the playoffs or not. If Brooks and Co (and new addition Sergei Fedorov) can keep potting a couple goals a game, the wins will come.

Other notes on the game last night-

Great attendance for a Tuesday night (even if there were all kinds of promotions for the evening). It's been a while since that many folks have taken in a Tuesday night game at the V.

Chris Bourque looked very solid in limited action. Solid talent, good work ethic on the ice. Even if he doesn't secure a spot on the playoff roster, you can bet we'll be seeing a lot more of him next season in a Caps jersey.

Mike Green may have been caught out of position on the Wild goal, but it was Ovechkin's failure to clear the puck out of the zone which cost the Caps.

The defense performed extremely well, even if they did run around a bit too much in their own zone. Ditto the penalty killers, who kept Peter Bondra lookalike Marian Gaborik off the scoresheet completely.

Poor Steve Eminger. He's clearly frustrated right now, as his penalty for elbowing early in the game indicated. He's trying to play the body hard, to do everything he can to secure playing time, and two minutes in the box is what he gets. You gotta feel for the guy.

The Caps next must win game (and they all are from this point on) is this Friday against the Devils. Hopefully Kozlov sneezed on Brodeur last game and he'll have to take a seat.

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