Caps Off Their Game, But Still Beat Punchless Rangers

There are games that remind me just how great the divide is between the Rangers and the top teams in the league.  This was one of them.  The Capitals were far from their best.  Ovechkin looked average.  And even when the Caps sat back with the lead in the third period they still surrendered scoring chances.  The Rangers were pretty good the first 30 minutes generating offense off the forecheck and played with spirit.  Still, I never had the feeling that we were going to make it close, let alone win.  We just don’t have the skill.  Too many passes are not received cleanly.  Too much time taken before shooting.  Too much dilly-dallying at the offensive blueline.  And too much trouble getting out of our defensive zone.  Not a horrible game.  It is the Caps after all.  Just frustrating to watch because it reminds me how far we have to go to be Stanley Cup level competitive.  Or even shoe-ins for the playoffs.

Where was Christensen in the last 10 minutes of the game????  He was our best forward the first 2 periods, and then he was plastered to the bench.  Even the 4th line got multiple shifts at the ends of the game.  Strange. 

Sit Gaborik until he heals.  If he plays at 70% speed the rest of the year he will be virtually useless.  No way this happens, but if Gaborik does play, until he’s much healthier, how about playing him on the third line and keeping the top 2 the way they were against Ottawa and Pittsburgh.  Those lines were clicking. 

Other Random Game ThoughtsIt’s painful watching Gilroy play defense.  But I still would keep him with the team, and not demote him.  This season is lost, even if we make the playoffs.  We must continue to develop our young players.  This means Gilroy must play, regardless of the lack of toughness in the corners and lack of comfort moving the puck when pressured…Auld was pretty good.  A few too many dropped pucks and adventures clearing the puck, but neither goal was his fault.  A solid pickup as a backup. 

I’ll be at the Sabres game tomorrow.  Big game on the back-to-back end with the points race so close.  We match up pretty well, so I predict a 4-2 win.  No empty-netters.

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Tags: Alex Auld Alex Ovechkin Erik Christensen Marian Gaborik Matt Gilroy Washington Capitals

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