Saturday, 31 March 2012

Game 79: Montréal 2, Washington 3 (SO)

Tonight's game told us more about the Washington Capitals than the Montréal Canadiens. They were playing a tired team, that had played the previous night on the road and then traveled to D.C., and jumped to a 2-0 lead, but then couldn't put them away. They were facing the journeyman goaltender Peter Budaj, and should have stepped on the Canadiens neck, but couldn't close the deal in regulation. There's no harm done to their playoff chances, but it says a lot about their motivation and desire and mindset and playoff readiness.

The DD line has cooled off somewhat in recent games, and the centreman had a poor game compared to his usual standards. Maybe he is getting tired, or the motivation is hard to come by this late in the season, but he was responsible for a few breakdowns and finished his evening -1. On the offensive side, he didn't seem to click, and his hesitation to shoot in favour of passing to his teammates may be a detriment at this point. The opponents may have the book on him now, and cover the passing lanes and dare him to shoot, like they do to Tomas Kaberle. He'll need to work on his shot and one-timers this summer to address this issue.

P.K. Subban is finally listening to me. I've often asked him to stop relying on the big windup slapshot exclusively, and to fake it then deke the shot blocker and go around him for the wrist shot. We saw him use my tactic tonight to great effect if no tangible result. If he continues to do so, he will be more effective, and his slapshot will be more effective as well, if it ever hits the net, since the defenders won't be able to set up for it so easily.

Something had been bugging me about Brad Staubitz, and now I know what it is. He's a dead ringer for this guy .

Good night, we pick up the regulation tie point, but our draft standings competitors Minnesota and Toronto bungled their way to a win, so not too much damage done.

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