October 11, 2008

Capitals Vs Thrashers 10/10/2008 Review

Capitals 4 - Thrashers 7

The 2008-2009 NHL Hockey season got off to a rough start last night for the Washington Capitals. Looking at the score, it seems fairly obvious that while their offense did well against the Atlanta Thrashers, their defense and goaltending were abysmal. That's not the most accurate statement, but that about covers the overall picture.

The 18 year old Atlanta rookie defenseman Zach Bogosian started his first NHL game off with a two minute holding penalty at 1:52 in the first period. Just under two minutes later, Washington thought they had the first goal of the game. However, the strike by Brooks Laich was disallowed because his stick was above the goal crossbar when he knocked the puck in. Soon after, things went south for the Capitals. Though the Thrashers hadn't gotten more than one shot off in the first eight minutes, they made the second one count. Former Columbus Blue Jacket Ron Hainsey tipped in the first of three straight Atlanta goals at 8:20. After his Power Play goal, his teammates Marty Reasoner and Bryan Little quickly added two even strength goals. Just 23 seconds after Little put the puck past new Washington netminder Jose Theodore, the Caps got on the score board. High in the slot and surrounded by defenders, Alexander Semin banked one in off the post to Kari Lehtonen's right. A couple four on four situations later, the period mercifully ended.

In the first period, the referees were calling the game tighter than a frog's butt. The same could also be said about the second period. The Capitals' goalie Theodore continued looking very shaky, misplaying the puck by the restricted area twice within the first few minutes of the middle frame. At 9:10, Washington's David Steckel tipped the puck in behind Lehtonen, who had been drawn out from the goal on a slapshot by defenseman Tom Poti. Semin also earned an assist on the play. The Caps' comeback hopes seemed dashed, when Slava Kozlov potted a PP goal, putting the Thrash back up by two a mere 20 seconds later. Jose Theodore was then replaced in net for Washington by Brent Johnson. Johnny looked very strong, making some nice saves right away. Soon after, Green tied the game at 4-4 with two consecutive PP goals less than a minute apart. The Caps were hot now, and it looked like they might pull this one off after all.

Washington continued to play well into the third period. Johnson kept stopping the puck, and Tomas Fleischmann kept putting on some dazzling moves, driving the puck toward the net. But then, Alex Ovechkin failed to make good on a rare penalty shot. Almost two thirds of the way through the final period, the game started going back the other way again. Bryan Little got his second goal of the game, quickly followed up with a strike from Colby Armstrong. With 3:53 left on the clock, Todd White snapped home Atlanta's seventh and final goal. Toward the end of the game, we were treated to three rather quick fights. After a couple misses by Thrasher's Eric Boulton, John Erskine landed Boulton on his ass with one punch. Then, Zach Bogosian had the misfortune of going up against Caps' Donald Brashear. Yeah, that didn't take too long either. The Matt Bradley versus Atlanta's Chris Thorburn tussle in the finals seconds was a bit closer. Since winning fights doesn't add to the score, the game ended Washington 4 - Atlanta 7.

So, coach Bruce Boudreau and his Capitals lost to Bruce's best friend John Anderson and his Thrashers, in John's very first NHL game as head coach. They will face each other five more times during the regular season. I'm sure the Caps' back end will be in better form on those occasions. As far as the outlook for Washington at this point, not to worry. One down, 81 more to go. As Caps fans, what about this game should we concern ourselves with? The successful return of a healthy Michael Nylander and Captain Chris Clark.

All Photos - John Bazemore / AP

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...