Fans had high hopes for tonight’s match-up with the San Jose Sharks, but two rapid goals in the middle of the third period easily took down the Capitals, who had their opponent locked in a stalemate for most of the game. After two snooze-worthy periods, the Caps decided to quit playing at the worst time, resulting in goals by Coture and Boyle. In all fairness the Caps were robbed of a goal during the first, when the referee blew the whistle before Niemi had possession of the puck, but that doesn’t make up for the apathetic play during the rest of the game.
- Alexander Semin Watch: the Nation’s Enigma made his return to the lineup tonight, and didn’t really do much of anything. While there were no stick penalties to be seen, he mustered only 4 shots on goal in about 18 minutes of ice time. He hasn’t scored since November 28th. Time tells all things, but with no goals since Thanksgiving, perhaps he should lay off the Big Macs and focus on his game.
- With the loss tonight, the Capitals have been shut out 8 times this season, which is the most since the 1998-99 campaign. To put that into perspective, they entered this season with 8 shutouts during Bruce Boudreau’s tenure as head coach. Let’s hope they don’t break their all-time record when it comes to getting blanked. The implementation of a more defensive system has been beneficial, but you can’t win if you don’t score.
- Moving on to the all-important Killer Instinct. Although there weren’t as many quality scoring chances, when those chances did occur the Caps did not rise to the challenge, going 0 for 2 on the power play with only 25 SOG (they normally average 31 per game). The top forward line and defensive pairing was a -10 combined, having been on the ice for both goals against.
Next up is a Saturday matinee against the Kings, continuing a string of games against the Pacific Division. Now that they’ve encountered the proverbial shark attack, let’s hope they don’t get dethroned this weekend.