Rested and rusty: Wild beat Caps 5-1

The Washington Capitals, who enjoyed five days off before Sunday’s game, were beaten by the Minnesota Wild, who played last night. This match was horrible from the first minute.

Speaking of: The Wild scored twice in the first 100 seconds of the game. The second period was slower, but Joel Eriksson Ek scored his second of the game on a loose puck. Marcus Foligno scored in the first shift of the third period.

Garnet Hathaway deflected a shot from Alex Ovechkin to end the shutout, but it was over. Nicolas Deslauriers got the empty net.

  • The Capitals had five days off since their last game, which was also awful. (I dropped out of that game with the stomach flu, and I think I had the better part of the deal.) The Caps didn’t look rested to me. They seemed slow and overwhelmed.
  • Also underestimating their rest, the Caps knocked out AJF and McMichael. Speed, youth and vitality were not priorities going into this one. There are so many players who are nursing injuries, playing while injured, whose play dwindles as the season gets longer. These guys should rest while the youngsters do their rehearsals. But the Caps are just going to sleepwalk hockey orthodoxy into the offseason, which will come at the end of the first round of the playoffs.
  • Highlighting Washington’s incompetence, the team was arrested twice for bad line changes (too many penalties).
  • Vitek Vanecek let the first two shots he faced hit the back of the net. After allowing five goals on 23 shots earlier in the week, Vanecek is now officially in the yuck zoned. I don’t know what else Washington could have done at the trade deadline, but I don’t like how their goalie position looks like now.
  • The frustration was palpable. Alex Ovechkin threw counterchecks in the first period. Kuznetsov was stopped for a point in the second period. Going out on a limb here, but I don’t think the team likes to play that badly.
  • John Larsson made his debut for the Washington Capitals in this one. I think Larsson is a very interesting player. Washington is basically the first non-terrible team he played for. And sure, he caused a penalty from too many men and then was wiped out on his big break, but I’m still excited for him.
  • With the Caps chasing the scoreboard since the fall, it’s no big surprise that they’ve had better puck control overall. I’m sure Chris will say the same in the The morning after story tomorrow. The “who drives the game?” The metagame just doesn’t matter that much when the real game – the main game – is already decided.

I don’t want to burn the tape. I want to rub the tape on the team’s face until they learn the shame. That’s how mean I am right now. I make the metaphor of the bad dog.

Anyway. this game sucked. It’s been so long (i.e. a week) since this team offered a no-Yeah performance. They’ll have two days off, and then they better face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

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