Pens Overpower Caps

Even Strength Offense: C

It wasn’t much to write home about. They had only 45 shot attempts, and that includes the power play. They had only 10 shots in the first and third periods combined. So it certainly wasn’t Pittsburgh Penguin Ice Hockey (which will henceforth be called PPIH). Probably the best thing they did at even strength was draw penalties. They did put two past some pathetic Capital goaltending, neither of which will end up on the How To Beat A Goalie instructional video. Dupuis kind of whacked one between Neuvirth’s legs, which so ticked off Adam Oates that he pulled his sieve. Then Matt Cooke(!) zinged one past a sleeping Holtby off a faceoff. And that was it for the even strength offense.

Even Strength Defense: B

The defense was sound most of the night, though they did allow Ovechickensh!t too much space on many occasions. Memo to Bylsma: never match up Deryk Engelland against number 8. Engo is still looking for his jockstrap after that move Ovie put on him..

Power Play: A+

The first power play was so horrid that I decided not to watch the second one. Bang, they score 10 seconds in on a tic-tac-toe passing play (holy cow, one of Sid’s cross-ice passes actually worked!). But they were just getting started. Kunitz and Neal combined for a beautiful goal on the transition. Then Sid batted on out of midair just moments after Holtby had robbed him on a similar play. Food for thought: does the power play outburst make you wonder if Letang is the issue on that unit?

Penalty Kill: D

Um, the Caps have this guy named Ovechickensh!t that likes to hang out in the left circle on the power play. You might want to be aware of that. I’m talking to you, Craig Adams (Harvard grad) and you, Deryk Engelland.

Goaltending: A-

Fleury made a couple spectacular saves on Ovie, who was basically Washington’s only offensive threat. He really had little chance on either goal. He was knocked off balance by Orpik on the first one, and Ovechickensh!t just blew it by him on the power play. He was standing tall and challenging shooters all night.

Overall: B

It’s nice to finally beat this outfit in regulation at home. First time in six years. Granted, the Caps aren’t who they used to be. The offense really doesn’t threaten anyone right now.. The goaltending is very shaky. And once they got down, they seemed to lose interest. But the Pens took full advantage, too, so give them credit. It certainly wasn’t their best effort, but the power play bailed them out. Yes, you read that right. The power play was the difference, scoring three times. Once they got the read, they did what they needed to in the third period to maintain it.

And now, the rest of the story…

Sid: A

A very weak first period, but who can argue with three points in the second?.

Geno: A

Ditto.

James Neal: C

I didn’t think he was particularly good, but he did have two points.

Z-Boy: F

He’s one of those guys who looks flashy but never produces. The Geno line has produced zero ES goals since they put Z-Boy on it. The chemistry just isn’t there.

Matt Cooke: A

He’s rounding into form.

Tyler Kennedy: F

Can a winger be any more awful?

Dylan Reese: A

He played 14 minutes and I never noticed him. That’s the ultimate compliment for a 7 or 8 defenseman.

Robert Bortuzzo: A

He continues to impress. The next step is to try him on the PK if Letang is out any length of time.

The Capitals: F

Boy, what has happened to this team? Caps blog Japers Rink offers their take. It’s a great read.

Striped Buffoonery

My compliments to Walkom and Kimmerly. I thought they had butchered the Caps’ first goal when Fleury’s mask came off. But they got it exactly right. It was Orpik who hit Feury and the mask coming off doesn’t stop play unless the Pens had possession.

EFGT

The save Fleury made on Ovechickensh!t when the latter undressed Engelland. Spectacular!

Bibsy’s Creative Language

He described Ovechkin’s move on Bortuzzo as “a slew type foot like a trip.” What were you tripping on, Bibsy?

I’m on Twitter.

A guide to the game grades can be found here.