Saturday, February 12, 2011

Recap: Kings 4, Capitals 1

Believe it or not, playing a conservative style does not prevent you from attacking. Unfortunately, that is what, it appears, Bruce Boudreau has his team believing. For a team that isn't great at forechecking, the transition game can be life or death. When you're not attacking in transition, it'll always be death.

Here's another thought: put Ovechkin on the RW on the PP. Make sure he and Backstrom are never on the same side. Teams can cheat to that side because no one backdoor is going to burn them--Green has to stay high in case Ovechkin loses the puck, Backstrom has to stay along the boards as a potential pass recipient. Semin below the goal line is not a realistic option to get a pass, and neither is Knuble in front. Hence, it's easy enough to get three guys aggressively on Backstrom-Ovechkin-Green, with relatively low risk.

I don't care if the game is boring or not. I care if the Capitals are trying to play a defensive style and failing at it. They gave up a ton of chances in transition in the third--perhaps the Kings' good forecheck and cycling in the first two periods contributed to that. One of those third period LA goals stands out to me. Semin goes on 1-on-3, 3 Caps are in the neutral zone, but they all get beaten. There's no excuse to give up a 2-on-1 when you only get as far as the attacking blueline, and with only one player at that, but that is exactly what happened (and I believe it was Handzus passing for the goal to Jarret Stoll).

Scoring chance tally after the jump.

Stick tap to Vic Ferrari and his awesome script. Unfortunately, it spit out something that reminds me of Hephaestus. I was actually surprised it was so close. The Kings had plenty of sustained offense, and like Alan May was saying early in the first, they were having trouble breaking off the cycle and then generating chances. The Caps were one-and-done all night.

At least the PK was awesome again today.

Scoring Chances for NHL Game Number 20829

WSH118:55T GOAL Ovechkin148192874814283345945v5
LAK113:43ZP deflection148192328811172633455v5
WSH110:03ZP Laich backhand12125277485212132345535v5
WSH19:01T Hendricks wrister1222627749037142845945v5
WSH16:15T Laich1212527748537192227455v5
LAK15:31T Clifford wrister, juicy rebound12226277490212132345535v5
LAK12:18T Loktionov after Smyth interception12125277485812143345945v5
WSH10:01ZP Hendricks deflection142223263923232728455v5
WSH219:00T Semin slapshot148192328811142633455v5
WSH218:40T Ovechkin centers to Backstrom1819285255814283345945v5
LAK217:16FO Lewis snapshot11017273974222232745535v5
LAK216:16ZP Williams wrister142223269037142845945v5
LAK215:51ZP point shot bounces to front142223269037142845945v5
LAK29:09ZP GOAL Kopitar12125277485214284553945v5
LAK26:40T Clifford slapshot12628525590812132333455v5
WSH25:41T Semin slapshot148192328814283345945v5
WSH23:33ZP rebound in front11017273974823283345 5v4
LAK20:03ZP Handzus on rebound, great save121233955 38112645944v5
LAK316:26T Clifford semi-breakaway12125525585212132345535v5
LAK316:25T GOAL Loktionov12125525585212132345535v5
LAK37:33T GOAL Handzus12526525590211172645535v5
LAK36:05T GOAL Stoll1212728748537142845945v5
WSH33:31ZP Knuble on loose puck in slot1819225274823263345 5v4
WSH32:53ZP Backstrom on loose puck in slot181922527427112745 5v4
WSH30:30T Carlson wrister1252627748537121323455v5

1S. VARLAMOV50:009128:00302:0001
4J. ERSKINE15:47430:00000:0000
8A. OVECHKIN17:55416:40200:0000
10M. BRADLEY8:41010:22100:0000
17D. KING7:00010:22100:0000
19N. BACKSTROM15:51415:00200:2300
21B. LAICH11:04253:28001:0301
22M. KNUBLE12:53233:16200:4500
23S. HANNAN18:44330:00001:2601
25J. CHIMERA11:24352:38000:0000
26M. HENDRICKS13:52350:28000:3400
27K. ALZNER17:27451:07100:3400
28A. SEMIN16:55433:54000:0000
39D. STECKEL8:25110:22100:4101
52M. GREEN16:56145:07200:0000
55J. SCHULTZ13:09140:00001:2601
74J. CARLSON18:13554:38300:3400
85M. PERREAULT12:46351:46000:0000
90M. JOHANSSON12:58150:52000:3400

PeriodTotalsEVPP5v3 PPSH5v3 SH

Closing notes:

Not a single Capital was in positive Fenwick territory. Only Mathieu Perreault, Jason Chimera, and Brooks Laich broke positive in Corsi. All this against a Los Angeles team that is pretty much just as good as Washington.

Anze Kopitar, Wayne Simmonds, Michal Handzus, Willie Mitchell, and Drew Doughty owned Alex Ovechkin head to head. Well, they beat him, at least. That +4 zonestart didn't help much, and AO nearly broke even in Fenwick. Looking at the Kings' numbers, though, I'd guess AO did that in the few minutes he wasn't playing against the aforementioned Kings.

John Carlson got more ESTOI than Mike Green. I'm sorry, that's not how things are supposed to be. I'm not sure how bad of a game Green actually had, but I can tell you Schultz seemed off, and got walked a couple of times (notably resulting in Simmonds' goal) and lost coverage too (notably on Kopitar's goal). Regardless, down a goal, Green should be getting plenty of ice.

Alex Ovechkin led all skaters in TOI. Only Drew Doughty came close to AO's 24:35. Carlson was a minute behind, Green two, Backstrom three.

Bruce Boudreau, I know you can do a better job.

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