Preds at Caps....10/28
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10-29-2008, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
So, my son and I were at the game on the glass just inside the blue line in the Caps attack twice zone. We were quite surprised at the start of the game as it appeared that the Preds knew we were and arranged for most of the action to happen in this zone in the first period.
To start off, I've been to many, many Preds games and thought I had a good feel for the speed, flow and power of the game. It was a much stronger experience being right on the glass. You really felt the speed of the players and the power of the hits, passes, etc.
It made me marvel again that these guys do this on skates.
On the other hand, I got a strong feeling from the beginning of the game that the Preds were out of synch. The Caps seemed quicker, stronger, and worked harder at winning the battles. Not that the Preds didn't try but the team just didn't have it together. They'd pick up the puck move out of the zone and then a lousy pass or a misconnected pass or a steal and back they came. Ellis, I thought, did a good job. You could tell that he could see the shot and was set up properly facing the shooter. Several times he gave up rebounds and our guys would clear the puck away so I was pleased with that. Unfortunately, they usually didn't clear it far enough away. There were several times that Washington just missed the open net or couldn't handle the puck when they had a clear opportunity. It could easily have been 5-1 or 6-1.
After a quick sigh of relief that we were still in the game, the second period started with more of the same and then, it was like a switch, and you could see them play better and with a little momentum. They tied the score up but they still weren't playing together as a team.
Then, the third period came and all of the action was down the other end as the Preds played like we know they can. Unfortunately, being on the glass means you have poor sight lines into the far zone so it was a lot of video watching at times.
I can't say I was impressed with any of our team's play though Dumont does seem to be having a good, but quiet on the ice, year. Our defensemen (Koistinen stood out as not being fast enough to contain the Caps but that might be just the couple of times I noticed him.) couldn't seem to contain the Caps rushes especially Alexander Semin, who was very impressive. This Caps team will do some damage if they can get a good or hot goalie. I noticed Joel Ward several times. He was energetic, hard hitting, and working his butt off. I wondered whether Tootoo has been told to hold in his fighting tendencies a little too much. He looked to me to be slower than he used to be and not as free with his hits.
I got to see the shootout at our end. It was clear what to me what the Caps were trying to do. Make Ellis commit and then roof it. Both of the scores went that way and the two he stopped never got up in the air. He needs to work on that.
We were very lucky to get one point. As usual, the Verizon Center was quieter than Nashville's place though it was louder than I've seen it in the past - helps that they have something to cheer for. The more places I see games, the more I get to appreciate the Sommet Center. It has a much better atmosphere and people. Caps fans I met were nice and competitive but not obnoxious.
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