Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
- Ilya Kovalchuk is good. Really good. So when you feed him the puck (stares at Keith Aucoin) in the high slot, he's probably going to bury it. I bet he felt two feet tall after that giveaway...oh wait...
- He looked two feet tall standing up against Antropov after the big red diving machine gave him a little bit of a cheap shoulder in the third. I didn't mean to offend Aucoin with that little height joke, and I like his guts in standing up for himself. Nice pass on the Giroux goal too.
- Brendan Morrison continues to impress me with the little things he does. He had some nice backchecks last night, and really seems to be playing with some consistency, even when he doesn't show up on the scoresheet.
- Speaking of the scoresheet, where has Nicklas Backstrom been? The top line looked lame last night, so thank God for secondary scoring.
- The power play was garbage, and so was the ice. I agree with Boudreau, but I don't know that we have room to talk on the ice condition issue.
I think the penalties are maddening, and although you can yell at the refs for that slashing call on Knuble, it didn't surprise me. The Caps are not only shooting themselves in their proverbial foot at the end of games, but they're now maintaining a reputation for stupid, sloppy play in the third. I think that had a lot to do with the quick whistles down the stretch last night. I don't think a disciplined team doesn't get called for slashing or cross-checking in the same situations. That is the most concerning thing about this loss. Boudreau's run the boys down in practice Herb Brooks-style, and that obviously hasn't done the job. What can he do to alleviate the problem? I say fines. I don't know if that's possible, but fining a guy for a third-period penalty makes me think they would get the message quickly. But that's why I'm behind a computer and Boudreau gets to make ASC commercials, I guess. Get it fixed Gabby.
Kudos Go To:
Eric Fehr. Fehrsie has looked like a man trying to save his job, and it finally paid off last night. Sick hands on that goal. He's also been flying around the net a lot more lately, which I'm sure has a lot to do with #22. Secondary props to Double Nickel on the 3-spot (even if the goal wasn't his), and Clarkie for getting on the score sheet. Does Matt Bradley really have 3 goals already?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
- Coaching...how will Flip Saunders manage the egos and playing time of this roster? As some people have noted, the Wiz are basically a collection of swingmen and scorers, so who gets the minutes? Will Mike Miller become a starter or stay a sixth man? What about "defensive minded" resident psycho DeShawn Stevenson? Will he and his neck tattoos see slashed minutes this season? Will he be able to push Randy Foye and Andray Blatche to their potential productivity? All of these are big questions entering the season with Flip at the helm.
- Depth...speaking of roster management, last season saw Nick Young, JaVale McGee, Dominic McGuire, and Blatche gain some experience with significant injuries. How valuable that experience was comes in to question when you consider that those guys were playing for a lame-duck coach and didn't show a ton of progress as the season slogged on. Will these guys be able to fight their way into a regular rotation, or will they give up their minutes easily to Foye and Miller? Each of these guys is under 25, and the competition has to be helpful for a team that seemed a bit complacent before all the injuries set in.
- Consistency...can the Wizards remember how to win right out of the gate or will they stumble. Once they figure it out, can they maintain a high level of play? Everyone seems to think that they're a lock to be the NBA's most improved team this season, but how they respond to being kicked around for the entire 2008-2009 season will be a story to watch. If they can establish consistency against bad teams (something they couldn't do last year), as well as grab a few pelts from the Bostons, Clevelands and Orlandos of the world, it could be a good season.
44-38, 5th in the Eastern Conference, lose in Eastern Conference Semifinals