Monday, February 19, 2007

A Weekend to Forget

It was not the best of days for the Washington franchise yesterday as both of their affiliates joined the Capitals in loosing despite the fact that they all outshot their opponents. The Caps outshot the Penguins 31-25 before falling 3-2 in the end, the Bears outshot the Hamilton Bulldogs 32-22 even though they lost 5-2, and the Stingrays outshot the Florida Everblades 30-29 in spite of the fact that they were never really in the game, losing 4-1. Out of the three teams, the only one to record a point in the standings this weekend was South Carolina with their shootout loss to Florida on Saturday night.
(Photo Courtesy of Jason Cohn/Reuters)

The Capitals played pretty well overall in the nationally televised game on NBC. They once again shut down their opponents top guns, as they did in Tampa on Thursday night when only a five minute let down in the beginning of the second period lead to two Vincent Lecavalier goals. Evgeni Malkin scored on his only good opportunity of the day, a hard angle shot from the corner that I'm sure Brent Johnson would like to have back. Sidney Crosby was held in check, posting only a secondary assist on the Penguins first goal of the game, a Mark Recchi power play goal.

On the other hand the Caps once again had trouble putting the puck in the net. They hit the crossbar twice with shots in the third period including one from Alexander Semin on his penalty shot opportunity when he had a wide open net after completely faking out Penguins goaltender Jocelyn Thibault. Semin summed up the feelings of Capitals fans everywhere afterwards by looking towards the ceiling in disbelief. Alex Ovechkin was quiet again recording 5 shots in 19:44 of ice time, but never really threating Thibault. It is now safe to say that Alex is in a big slump as he has just 1 goal and 1 assist in his last 7 games. Kris Beech, Ben Clymer, and Steve Eminger were the healthy scratches again. In the meantime, Washington is now 1-11-1 in their last 13 road games. It may be safe to finally say it's time to look forward to next season.

The Hershey Bears lost their second consecutive game on Sunday. They followed up a sub par effort in a 3-1 loss against the Albany River Rats on Saturday night, with another dreadful outing against the Hamilton Bulldogs yesterday losing 5-2. Maxime Daigneault struggled for the Bears in his first start in goal since returning from a high ankle sprain as he allowed 5 goals on just 22 shots. Two quick goals by Michael Lambert and Mikhail Grabovski in the beginning of the second period had Hershey trying to play catchup for the rest of the game. Joey Tenute provided the only highlights in the game for the Bears netting both of their goals as he now has 17 on the season. Mike Green tailed his first assist of the season with Hershey, but he also had a -3 defensive rating on the day. The Bulldogs triumphed despite playing without their All-Star goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who was in the process of winning his first career NHL start for the Montreal Canadians 3-2 over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Bears have now lost both of their games since Frederic Cassivi's recent recall due to an injury to Olaf Kolzig, leaving them seven points behind the division leading Norfolk Admirals. Their record on the season without Cassivi on the roster dropped to 10-8-0-2, while they are 22-4-5-3 while their number 1 goaltender is on the active roster. They will have to do their best without him, as he will be with the Capitals for at least the next 3 weeks as Kolzig recovers from his knee injury.

The South Carolina Stingrays finished up a weekend they would soon like to forget, loosing to the Florida Everblades for the second time in two days at the North Charleston Coliseum. Goaltender Daren Machesney started in goal for the second consecutive game after being reassigned to the team earlier in the week. He ended up being pulled from the contest in the second period after allowing 4 goals on just 11 shots. Davis Parley shutdown the Everblades the rest of the way, stopping all 18 shots he faced, but the lead was too much to overcome for the Stingrays. The weekend results dropped South Carolina into a tie with the Charlotte Checkers for fifth place in the South Division with 57 points. They now trail the division leading Texas Wildcatters by 12 points. With their six game home stand now over, the Stingrays will travel to Augusta to take on the Lynx Tuesday night, gametime 7:35 PM ET.


Fauxrumors said...

1) Looks like the real fight for the caps may be for the 1st over all draft pick(again)
2) The only question remains who/will they trade any of their assets to playoff teams?

kenhockey said...

How many points do you think the Caps will end up with? Think they'll match last year? I'm beginning to think not.