Wednesday, April 23, 2008

eulogy

a disappointing end to a pretty good game and a fantastic season. there's a tonne that could be said, but i dont have the stomach to engage in a full blown postmortem and can offer only a few thoughts:

- obviously i didnt like the call on kapanen's goal much. i understand the nhl's rationale and justification of the call, but the play looks awfully similar to one that went against the caps in the last regular season game of the season where fleishman hit a tampa defender into ramo. if the right call was made according to the rulebook, i think the rule book needs to be at least revisited with respect to two issues. 1) a player has to make an effort to not to make contact with an opposing goalie, so shouldnt a player have to make an effort to not make contact with an opposing player when such contact will reasonably, if not obviously, create contact with an opposing goalie? isnt this at least something we need to think about? is there that much of a practical difference from thoresen running over huet in that context and thoresen running over mossison who, thoresen knows, will then hit huet? 2) this is the kind of play that probably needs to be reviewable. i am hell bent against expanding video review to penalties or offsides or icings, etc, an idea that is so preposterously dumb that even the good folks at the nhl are not likely to consider it. but when we're talking about whether or not a goal was scored, im not sure i see a distinction between revieweing whether or not the puck crossed the line (or was kicked in or knocked in with a highstick, etc) and reviewing whether or not goalie interference occurred on the play.

- you cant complain too much on the poti call. obv the refs put away the whistle in the third (a move i agree with) and once the caps got away with the erskine non-call, they almost had to call poti. i think both plays were trips, the difference being that erskine did what he did to prevent a 2 on 1. poti had no reason to get so aggressive there, he was in good position, the caps were in no danger. but poti played great all year and all series, so what can you do. tough break for a seemingly good guy.

- caps came out and dominated early which they needed to do. 5 on 3 goal, long stretches of domination in the phi zone, including a mammoth shift by the fourth line against the richards and timonen group. that was a huge shift, one of those where it's only a matter of time before the flyers take a penalty. wash was able to change forwards with the puck still in the zone. boudreau would have done well to get ov's line out against a tired phi group. instead, as he never seems to do clever li'l matchup things like that, he put backstrom and semin out there. semin ends up taking a very lazy and stupid hooking penalty as the puck exits the offensive zone, and the flyers, of course, score on the ensuing pp. the game changed from that point. fucking semin. gotta take the good with the bad i guess.

- ovechkin must have had nightmares of that glorious chance he had in the slot before dishing off to an unlooking federov. wow, that's a great place to shoot when you're the best sniper in the game.

- one has to imagine that slava bykov has already called ov begging him to be on the national team for the world championships next month. ov's gotta be pretty spent at this point, but i imagine it'll be tough to say no, especially given the number of quality russians ruled ineligible to play.

- interesting decisions remain regarding some of the team's ufa's (huet and federov) and rfa's (green and eminger), as well as what the deal with varlamov is. should be a fairly busy offseason for mcphee and the team, but one that at least can justifiably be viewed with optimism for the future.

3 comments:

hiphiphuet said...

yeah--tough to see the caps lose like that. i agree that the goalie interference issue needs to be revisited. in my opinion, any sort of interference on the goalie in the crease, direct or indirect, should be called--they've got to amend that one. semin and federov should both 'feel shame' for spending so much time in the box but they were obviously key ingredients to the team's success. overall a good season and an incredible turn-around for the caps.
i didn't know about the russian players being banned from the world championships. maybe putin will flex his muscle on this one?

rananda said...

yea for some reason i noticed in game 7 the flyers crashing the crease and taking little extraneous jabs at huet more than any other point in the series. im sure it was constant throughout though. yea i think that interference rule, if it was called correctly, is silly in that you get the absurd result of kapanen getting the empty net there. do we want games, nay a whole series, to be decided on a play like that? i'd rather not. i think ov firing that shot over biron is a more interesting play than thoresen knocking morrison into the goalie. i know they all cant be pretty, nor should they, but it just doesnt seem like something we need to see more of. kudos to thoresen, he knew exactly what he was doing and he got the job done. interesting, i thought our 4th line played a lot better than theirs the whole series, yet they outscored us there. hockey's a heartbreakingly capricious mistress, id guess that's why we love her so.

not sure putin can do anything about that one, it's up to the nhl and iihf. they broke their nhl contracts to play in the rsl, and while there's no nhl-iihf transfer agreement involving russia, if they want to play in an iihf event, they gotta live by iihf rules. just had an interesting idea today, i'd love to see boudreau coach the russian team at the 2010 olympics. dont think it's going to happen, but think the russians are going to need a north american coach to do well in that one. obv ovechkin and semin could vouch for bruce on that one, but the russian federation has never listened to its players before, and they probably never will.

hiphiphuet said...

I was just kidding about Putin, although he has been flexing a lot lately. That would be wild if Boudreau coached the Russians--imagine Ovechkin translating for him during the pregame talks! I'm sure Federov and Kozlov could vouch for him too.

Check this out, it was posted on James Mirtle's hockey blog:
Goaltender Olie Kolzig removed his nameplate from his locker here at Verizon Center after tonight's 3-2 overtime loss to Philly. Kolzig declined to speak to reporters, but that gesture seems to say it all about his future with the organization.
— Capitals Insider