It's a trap!
After back to back wins against Philly and Detroit, Edmonton should be a piece of cake right? Wrong. This was a trap game all the way and the Caps walked face first into it, and by "it" I mean the penalty box.
Khabibulin was an absolute monster in the third period of this one. The first period played out pretty evenly with one goal a piece. The second period was a different story entirely. Thank Tomas Vokoun for keeping us in the game because the Caps committed penalty after penalty. I thought I had seen it all until Alzner was called for holding the stick (with his legs). And can we please change the rules for diving? Although the Caps benefited from it this time, why on earth the NHL thinks that the dive, and the hook, slash or trip that caused it should both be called is beyond me. Just call one or the other! Either Anton Lander hooked Matt Hendricks, or Hendricks took a dive! It can't be both! I can only imagine Boudreau's 2nd intermission rant after that one, but it worked. The Caps came out on all cylinders during a third period where at one point the Caps were out shooting the Oilers 15-5. None of that mattered however, because Nikolai Khabibulin stopped everything the Caps threw at him.
I don't think this was a bad loss for the caps. There was some sloppy play, which can happen after four days off and riding high on a 7 game win streak, but as Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin said many times, the refs were calling this game "by the book." Most games won't be called this way and the Caps came into this game with one of the fewest total penalty minutes in the NHL. I don't see this being a problem for the future. Boudreau will get this team re-focused for Saturday night and back on track.
Till next time! I'm off to play what might be my last round of golf this year.
FIGHT ON DMV