Friday, November 5, 2010

Recap: Bruins 3 @ Capitals 5

"Caps are playing with a lot of purpose, a lot of focus"--Jack Edwards, NESN, during the second period

This game was more exciting than it needed to be.

Boston looks to me like it plays its best hockey in a low tempo, controlled, low-volume game. That was their story last season--last in the league in offense, but one of the best in defense. Few shots for, few shots against. That is how they played through the first half of the first period, until they got into a bit of penalty trouble. While Washington didn't score, they did control the puck better thereafter.

That puck control carried over into the second, which must have been one of the Caps' best periods to date. They were dominant and pretty clinical for stretches. It was dump-in or carry-in, forecheck, generate a chance or chances, and when the puck got cleared, chase it down, change lines, and repeat. Green was very noticeable and looks to be automatic to the top corner again.

To start the third, Claude Julien swapped in Tuukka Rask for Tim Thomas, and the move paid dividends during the next ten minutes of game time, during which Boston scored two power play goals and an even strength goal to tie the game at 3. That being said, I think Boston was getting a bit lucky, as those three goals were on four scoring chances by my count--not exactly a lot. On the third goal, for example, it was a 2-on-2-turned-2-on-0 when David Steckel and John Carlson collided and Alzner tried to rush back but ultimately couldn't get back in time. After Shawn Thornton tied the game on that play, though, the Caps seemed to find their legs, in part helped by Bruce Boudreau moving Alexander Semin back to the second line with Tomas Fleischmann (who had himself some good takeaways and forechecks) and Brooks Laich.

Braden Holtby came on after Thornton's goal and stopped the handful of shots he faced, for his first career win. Way to go.

Man of the match: Mike Green. He was all over the place and really only made one mistake the entire game. He had a shorthanded assist and a beauty of a goal to give himself a 3-game goal scoring streak. How's that stick working out for ya?

Timeonice reports: Shift Charts, H2H Ice time, Zonestarts, Corsi/Fenwick

Some notes:
  • Like we'd expect, Chara saw a lot of Ovechkin. Aside from that and Bruce Boudreau keeping Erskine-Sloan away from any good Boston lines, I don't really see any line-matching going on.
  • The Caps had 26 ES offensive zone faceoffs and only 14 in the defensive zone (24 in the neutral zone). That's some good puck possession.
  • Semin still looks like the catalyst up front. He played most of the night on Ovechkin's line and ended up a +5 Corsi, while Ovechkin was a -6. That top line is still struggling, methinks. Maybe it's time for a change. Alex Ovechkin still doesn't look all that good, and Mike Milbury pointed out in the intermissions how Ovechkin lost his defensive assignments several times, failing to tie up sticks or win puck battles when first in.
  • Eric Fehr-Jason Chimera-Boyd Gordon and John Carlson-Karl Alzner had fantastic games. They saw lots of the Krejci-Horton-Lucic line and shut them down completely, giving them a -10 Fenwick. Fehr led the Caps at +11.
  • Tim Thomas was a -7 Fenwick in the first forty minutes, Tuukka Rask a -8 through the last twenty. Hmmm.
  • Alexander Semin was brilliant not only in driving offense, but little things like lifting sticks to strip the puck (notably, a couple of times on Zdeno Chara, as well as several times on the PK, including one of Patrice Bergeron which directly led to the rush upon which he scored). He's in the zone. 
  • What was that celebration??? Banging on the ice like, well...let's say the "bongos" fans are going to have fun with that.
  • Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton may have tallied, but their most frequent matchup of the night was against Fleischmann and Flash beat 'em. Wow.
  • Speaking of Flash, kudos on winning the draw on Carlson's game-winning goal.
  • Matt Hendricks is making DJ King look redundant. 
  • Mark Stuart was the only Bruin with a positive Corsi. Gregory Campbell joined him in the group of Bruins with positive Fenwick. Ouch.
  • Jack Edwards, I don't give a **** that you think the linesmen messed up calling icing in this game. I don't think anyone else does, either. Especially the freaking national audience on NHL Network.
All in all, the Caps had a pretty good game. They outshot Boston 38-18 and probably would have won 4-1 or 4-2 if two consecutive penalties hadn't resulted in 2 goals. Anyways, plenty of time to figure out how to stop that Boston power play.
(Maybe the Caps could learn to just shoot, especially on 5-on-3s...)

    Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20180

    BOS117:30Seguin 1-on-1 on Alzner1026273039741819263044485v5
    BOS113:32Krejci in slot819272830741718303344465v5
    BOS113:14Lucic tries to deke Neuvirth819272830741718303344465v5
    WSH111:04PP Ovechkin one-timer81922283052303337445v3
    BOS19:20SH Wheeler 4-on-314162130527426303346545v4
    WSH14:55Backstrom strip, to Ovechkin in front819283052552830373845545v5
    WSH13:56Alzner wrister on loose puck1516252730741718303344465v5
    WSH13:32Chimera turnaround fadeaway wrister415162530891921263048735v5
    WSH219:02GOAL Sloan wrist shot through traffic414212230892128303738455v5
    WSH217:55Fehr turnaround shot1516262730521718304446485v5
    WSH217:23Carlson 4-on-3 slapshot810273039741926303345735v5
    BOS217:15Ryder backhand810192730741926303345735v5
    WSH215:37Knuble alone weak side on rush1421222730891121305463735v5
    WSH214:26Chimera shot off wing415162530892128303337385v5
    WSH212:26GOAL Green curl and drag, wrister high glove side819283052551121223033635v5
    WSH29:02Laich wrister on rush414162130891122303344635v5
    WSH27:16Fehr hits the post415162530891921263048735v5
    WSH26:34Hendricks on doorstep1026273039741718304446485v5
    WSH26:28Steckel wrister1026273039741718304446485v5
    BOS25:40Thornton wrister1421223052551122304554635v5
    BOS23:34Ovechkin doesn\'t tie up Horton, who almost taps it in819272830741718304446485v5
    WSH22:10SH GOAL Semin 3-on-2 21283052551928303337734v5
    BOS21:08Lucic on cross-crease pass4103039891718304546484v5
    BOS316:54PP GOAL Ryder rebound4263039891928404448734v5
    BOS315:59PP GOAL Horton slapshot15193052551718333740464v5
    BOS314:16Hunwick throws it through a crowded slot415162530891718404446485v5
    WSH311:36Fehr one-timer415162530892833373840445v5
    BOS310:10GOAL Thornton on 2-on-0; Steckel and Carlson collide, Alzner not back in time827283039741922404554635v5
    WSH38:27Fleischmann fadeaway wrister1421285255702837384045545v5
    WSH36:36GOAL Carlson slapshot through traffic1516252770741718213340465v5
    WSH35:573-on-2, Fleischmann shot + rebound1421285255701718404446485v5
    BOS34:56Stuart wrister through traffic819225255701121284045635v5
    WSH32:31Chimera lowers shoulder and goes to front1516252770741718213340465v5
    WSH31:32Ovechkin wrister on 2-on-1819272870741937404463735v5
    WSH30:52EN GOAL Ovechkin819225570741718283344465v5

    4J. ERSKINE14:08610:02000:3002
    8A. OVECHKIN18:30563:00000:0000
    10M. BRADLEY10:29320:00000:2601
    14T. FLEISCHMANN11:54511:40010:0000
    15B. GORDON12:29810:00001:4101
    16E. FEHR12:44911:25010:0000
    19N. BACKSTROM16:35452:19000:0601
    21B. LAICH11:08513:14011:1710
    22M. KNUBLE10:54320:45000:4200
    25J. CHIMERA12:30710:02000:3600
    26M. HENDRICKS8:35310:00000:5101
    27K. ALZNER17:55960:04001:2900
    28A. SEMIN16:31542:34001:1710
    30M. NEUVIRTH40:391483:57014:1513
    39D. STECKEL10:00320:00001:3402
    52M. GREEN19:10523:31012:1611
    55J. SCHULTZ18:51520:00002:1611
    70B. HOLTBY10:09610:00000:0000
    74J. CARLSON18:36861:19011:2900
    89T. SLOAN12:56710:02000:3002

    PeriodTotalsEVPP5v3 PPSH5v3 SH

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