Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Caps Have Tough Road Ahead with Bolts and Pens Looming

A busy work schedule, kids' hockey road game and lacrosse tryouts kept me from blogging about most of the All-Star festivities, but I got back in the groove and caught the Caps as they faced the Montreal Canadiens for their second meeting this season. And for the first 20 minutes, it seemed like the Caps finally found their groove as they saw two lovely first period goals from Mathieu Perreault and Mike Knuble. Today is officially Groundhog Day, but the second and third periods of last night's game seemed like Groundhog Day to the legions of weary Caps fans, witnessing yet another disappointing Washington loss. Brooks Laich earned himself a penalty trifecta (though one of them was most questionable on the part of the dudes in stripes) and miscues on the part of the Caps' defense allowed the speedy Habs captain, Brian Gionta, to light the lamp twice on breakaways. As we've seen too many times this season, the boys took their foot off the gas and dropped yet another game in a shoot out loss. Other than a pretty solid effort on the part of Semyon Varlamov, one of the few highlights of the game was this epic hip check from Ovi on the smack-talking rookie PK Subban:

Well fasten your seat belts boys because the road ahead is gonna be tough with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday and the hated Penguins paying a visit on Sunday. The Lightning "lit up" the Eastern Conference leading Flyers on Tuesday in a 4-0 whupping. Bolts' veteran goalie Dwayne Roloson continues to flabbergast offensively-loaded teams, making 38 saves against a hot Flyers club. HM's brother will be seated second row center at St. Pete Times Forum on Friday, rocking the Ovechkin jersey he just got for his birthday. So yet another selfish reason to hope the boys can shake off their malaise and for Pete's sake, put together a solid 60-minute performance.

Of course I don't have to tell you who's rolling into the Phone Booth for a Super Bowl Sunday matinee. While the Penguins have been without two of their top scorers with Geno Malkin and Crysby on the injured list, they've won their last four outings (and are beating the Isles as we speak) - they are as dangerous as ever.

So will getting Alex Semin back on the bench jumpstart the Caps' offense? No telling - as Sasha is as streaky as cheap drugstore mascara. While I'm not sure that a coaching change is the answer to the Capitals' woes, something's got to give this incredibly talented squad a square kick in the bum. My hopes are to see a new face or two in the room after the free agent deadline passes at the end of this month...Jason Arnott anyone? Speaking of the trade deadline, TSN's Darren Dreger is a must-follow is you're not already and he's just introduced his new daily Dreger Report this week. Check it out with your morning cuppa joe!

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