Saturday, December 17, 2011

AVS GAMEDAY PRIMER: Washington Capitals, 12/17/11

The Good Guys: ...were good for 40 minutes on Thursday night. In fact, they were REALLY good for 40 minutes, outplaying the San Jose Sharks in their own building, en route to a 4-2 lead heading into the third period. Then, the lack of experience showed up in the third period, the Sharks turned the game around on the Avs, and escaped with a 5-4 win. Still, the team showed flashes of what they could become.

Tonight's Dicks: The Washington Capitals. Hmm, haven't heard too much about them this season. Wonder how they're doing? I'm sure Alex Ovechkin has about 30 goals by now, and I'm sure that after dumping that nobody goaltender on July 1st (what was his name again?) for a SUREFIRE #1 overall draft pick and following that up by signing Tomas Vokoun (lifetime playoff record: 3-8), the Caps are humming right along toward another Stanley Cup championship. Wait, what?

We Like: Again, not to put too fine a point on it: the Avs performance through 40 minutes on Thursday night wasnt just good, it was outstanding. After an early hiccup, Semyon Varlamov was very good, and Erik Johnson had what was perhaps his best game as an Av. Paul Stastny accounted for two of the goals, and looked more comfortable and involved than he has yet this season. We also like: Phoenix's end of today's trade of Kyle Turris to Ottawa for David Rundblad and a 2nd round pick; seeing Dale Hunter back in the NHL. Hunter was my first "hockey hero" as a child, when he was a Nordique.

We Don't Like: Another head injury for the Flyers, this time to rookie Sean Couturier; Los Angeles' impending hire of Darryl Sutter (another genius move from the most overrated GM in hockey, Dean Lombardi); Washington's chances of winning anything of significance with their current core.

Randomly: there's a liquor store located right next to the hockey shop where I get my skates sharpened. My skates are never dull.

Tonight's Hero: goalie JS Giguere, who has not gotten nearly enough credit for how good he's been this season.

Tonight's Goat: the Caps power play

Final Thought: Matt Hendricks is going to score at least two goals tonight. I have no doubt in my mind about this. I'd bet my next two paychecks on it. Colorado fares well against teams that like to play a more uptempo style, so I won't be shocked to see guys like Matt Duchene and David Jones have multi-goal games too.

Avs 5, Caps 3

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