Tremendous defense stifles Caps

My Prediction

Caps 5, Pens 2

Even Strength Offense: B-

They again potted two at even strength, but that was all they needed on this night. They peppered Vokoun with shots and kept the puck deep in the Caps’ end most of the night. The opening 10 minutes was just pure dominance, and the fourth line even scored a goal to put the icing on the cake. That was a Sid-like backhand pass from Asham to Adams for the goal. Then the third line won it in the third period when Kunitz made a great play to get away from two Caps and beat Vokoun. After that, they kept the Caps bottled up the rest of the night. That final minute where they were trying to pull Vokoun was incredible. They never let the puck come out of the offensive zone until there were like 5 seconds left. Wow!

Even Strength Defense: A

A fantastic night defensively. The best defense was definitely the good offense. With two rookies and Engelland holding down the blue line, they needed to keep the pressure off, and they did. The Caps garnered only 14 even strength shots, and Ovechickensh!t only had one of them. They had one breakdown when they allowed a 2-on-1 down low and Chimera buried it, but other than that, they were solid all night. Bortuzzo and Depres acquitted themselves well.

Power Play: F

Just brutal again. Lose faceoff-out of zone-come back in zone-pass-pass-pass-pass-giveaway-out of zone. There is never anyone in front of the net. Is it possible to have too much skill on a power play? They need some jam, and they have none right now.

Penalty Kill: A

They key against Washington is to not take too many penalties. They did that, and very effectively killed off the two they did take.

Goaltending: A-

That was a rather weak goal Fleury gave up at the start of the second period after the Pens had dominated the first. I feared it would start another avalanche like we saw the other night. But both the Pens and Fleury didn’t allow that to happen. And Fleury had to be sharp at times to keep the Caps from tying it.

Overall: A

They shut down what should be a great offense by keeping the puck in the Caps’ end most of the night. They withstood a barrage of hits by the Caps in the first period with a lead. Of course, they had so many hits because the puck was always in their own zone. But the Pens just kept their composure after a bad start to the second, then dominated the final 5 minutes as the Caps tried to tie it up. Just a great performance overall.

And now, the rest of the story…

Sid: C

He’s goalless since his comeback game and was on the ice for the only goal against last night..

Geno: C

Lots of shots, but nothing doing.

Jordan Staal: B

He didn’t show up on the score sheet, but his line helped keep the Ovenchickensh!t line off the scoreboard.

Chris Kunitz: A

Great individual; effort on the winner.

Simon Depres

He plays like that every night, and he won’t be riding any more buses. He was calm in his own end, was on the ice for both penguin goals, and just played an all-around smooth game.

Tomas Vokoun: A-

Other than the winner, he was spectacular all night. Interesting stat. He’s stopped 94.7% of Penguin shots this year, but only 90.2% against the rest of the league.

Striped Buffoonery

They let ‘em play. Can’t complain about that, as the calls were pretty even.

Icehole of the Game

John Carlson. He “accidentally” bumped into Sid after a whistle.

Letang of the Game

Matt Niskanen. He was just firing it toward the net at every opportunity. Of course, like Letang, only two of his eight attempts were on goal.

Free Candy
Brooksie paid Carlson back with a booming check late in the game.

Monk Moment

The final minute when the Caps couldn’t get out of their own end.

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A guide to the game grades can be found here.