Seriously? I'd put #85 at the top of the effort list tonight, Vokoun 2nd, then Sasha.
Mp in top half. But not saying much. You can't be best player in limited ice time. He had goal, effort, and had some nice dzone breakout passes... That our other morons couldn't capitalize on space.... Freaking hammer took a perfect one, had clear skating, and simply backhand-dump to turn puck over.
Ovi had goal, two strong pt shots that got through on net and low for rebound, took several hits to make a play, delivered a few hits, had limited turnovers, drew two penalties. He put his body on line to get puck which is better than 90% of the team just reaching and poking.
This was really the first Hunter game that reminded me a lot of a Bruce coached game. The dump in placement and timing was terrible, and there was generally poor communication. We really seem to have an awful time making contact with pucks on t he defensive end. Someone mentored too much stick work and not enough body on defense. Hmm, I would argue the opposite at times. We are the worst poke checking team I've ever seen . An opponent can literally dangle the puck right in front of three defenders and none can knock it away. Johnson has his work cut out for him.
That's cause they're reaching. Too many get walked through cause no one is manning up on the body. That 4th goal was prime example. When you reach and extend the attacker knows your stick radius and can dance around your flat footed ass.
The team has a personnel problem. I don't for a minute think Ovie, Backstrom and Semin have forgotten how to play hockey. Semin's heart and effectiveness are question marks, no doubt. But I think the main difference between this team and the one's 2007-2010 is that there is not much offensive skill beyond #8, #19, and #28. Add #52 to that if he ever gets healthy.
The Caps from 2007-2010 had better secondary scoring threats: Fedorov, Kozlov, Fehr, Fleischmann, Knuble. These guys were not top line threats but the opposing teams had to exert themselves to defend against them. This created room for Ovie and the Gang. Today our secondary threats are Brouwer, Ward, Chimera, Halpern, an old Knuble, Mojo who is too young or else just not good enough offensively.
Also, those teams had Donald Brashear. The Caps have played like sissies ever since Brashear was released. It's been said by others and it's true. Having a couple of genuine tough guys on the ice gives our skill guys more room and more courage on the ice.
i dont know about you, but i watch sports as entertainment. when its not fun, i dont watch. or at least i try not to watch.
So then you must never watch struggling teams or rebuilding teams? Part of whats fun to me is watching how a team digs themselves out or turns a season around. Now if the Caps can't do that, so be it. But I like watching this team no matter what, even in losses.