Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Capitals 6, Penguins 3

First off, I'm sitting here watching Pitt kick the stuffing out of Louisville in the first round of the Big East Tournament. Go Panthers!

Okay, now about the Pens game...

The game was entertaining, and the Pens certainly made a contest out of it. However, they were thwarted by themselves too many times. Caron made several big saves, but also allowed several softies, including maybe the softest goal I've ever seen. When Ivan Majesky took the puck on the penalty kill in his own zone and heaved it up into the Penguins zone, it rolled and bounced towards the net. Caron, instead of coming out and playing the puck, stayed back and waited for it to come to him. What could happen did happen and Caron was eaten up by the bouncing grounder (it rolled gently to his left and into the goal). It was incredible, and not in a good way.

Couple the goaltending woes with the tendency to take minor (meaning dumb) penalties, and the Caps were able to win the day. The Pens were able to stay in the game and compete pretty well (I thought) despite being outshot by 41-25.

Other positives I saw included:
  • Shane Endicott winning 9 out of 10 faceoffs... but still only playing 7:35. I think he's still skating around on one leg. Next year is when his time will come.
  • Jani Rita is showing signs that he can be the next speedster to play for the Pens, following in the proud tradition of Rico Fata and Koltsov. The puck seems to stick to him a little bit better.
  • Speaking of Koltsov, can someone work with him on his skating and puck control this summer? He has world class speed and seemingly unlimited energy, but he can't stay on his skates or keep the puck on his stick. He was called for diving tonight, when he was really just skating normally. By the way, how can you have a trip AND a dive? If it was a trip, then it wasn't a dive, right? And vice versa, one would assume. More great intelligent work from the incredible braintrust that are the NHL referees.
Did I mention Go Panthers? Back to the second half in hoops. Next Pens game is Saturday, I believe.


Will said...

It's funny you mentioned Koltsov because I noticed that too last night. He has that great speed but that only really helps him get to the puck, once he get's the puck there's much to be desired. But I do remember the last goal he scored and it was a laser that tatooed the upper right corner. If he can start producing a point a game or something close to that, he'll be a solid player.

The whole diving/penatly thing is just crap. That's the dumbest rule ever cause like you said, how can it be diving if a penalty is called. I was yelling at the screen like "have you seen this guy skate before? He falls almost everytime!"

Bottom line is we got smacked by a team I hate losing to. Ovechkin was looking good tho, that guys is a player. He's like Jagr where everytime he touches the puck in the offensive zone he could score a goal. And the fact that he has like 180 shots this season shows he's not shy about it either.

Will said...

I just read from that...

"Pittsburgh Penguines have claimed center Andy Hilbert off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks."

I don't know much about the guy other than he's a center, young and only played like 20 some games this season. Could this be a sign that a center could be leaving the Pens? ... I've been hearing a lot of rumors that Malone is heading out of town. I've also heard the same about Recchi but I guess we'll see in the next 1 hour and 12 minutes!

Will said...

Speaking of Recchi, this was on the top of the page on

"Pittsburgh Penguins winger Mark Recchi has waived his no-trade clause in order to be dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes. More to follow."

I would hate to see him leave because he's been a force all year for the Pens but it would be nice to see him compete for a good contender in Carolina. And it's only fair since Orpik took out one of their best wingers this week ;)