Two games at home, two wins, both in extra time. We (fans) will take it.
On the other hand, it seems like the team didn’t really take advantage of the early exit to fix some clear vulnerabilities. In the game against Tampa Bay, the team that unceremoniously swept the Caps out of the playoffs, a few things stood out:
- Shakiness in goal – Vokoun was leaky at best on Monday, but he’s a pro, and I think this one will fix itself.
- Powerplay – Did we even have any? They didn’t seem very memorable.
- Outmatched at the bench – In the playoffs last year, Tampa Bay’s bench boss showed himself to be in a different class from Bruce Boudreau. Boucher dictated the pace and tenor of the game. He did so again on Monday. In the overtime, there was one minute of 3 on 3. With a shaky goalie and so much ice, the Caps were in serious jeopardy of losing … Boucher allowed his team to regroup, and he got the players he wanted on the ice. On our side of the ice, the Caps were in disarray, both on the ice and off. There were a few seconds where the Bolts players were streaking down the ice, and the Caps only had two players out there, until Schultz lumbered over the boards. Then as that 3 on 3 expired, the Caps were called for too many men on the ice. ARGH.
I just don’t get this (lack of) coaching philosophy. You’re Boudreau, you have some of the best skill players in hockey, why don’t you put out the line that will get you the win? Instead you wait to see what the other guy does?
But there were some positives.
MJ90 looked great. Not sure what happened in camp to get Johansson benched, but I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen again, if he keeps playing like he did.
The other bright star, Chimera.
What’s one quality the two share? Speed. Is that the issue with playing Tampa Bay? And how will the team do against Pittsburgh in our first away game (with another world-class coach)? We’ll see.