F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 10/12/13 at 10:15 PM ET
The slow start to the Capitals season continued tonight with a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. As has been the case in the early season, they had some good chances, but just could not find a way to take advantage of them. The loss puts the Caps at 1-4-0 on the season and their lone win was not exactly noteworthy. On to the reCap.
Washington Goals: Eric Fehr 1 (Chimera, Ward)
Michal Neuvirth: LOSS, 23 Saves, 5 Goals Allowed
Colorado Goals: Tanguay 1 (Landeskog); Duchene 3 (O'Reilly, Benoit); MacKinnon 1 (Stasny, Landeskog); Tanguay SH 2 (Stasny, Benoit); McGinn 3 (Parenteau, MacKinnon)
Semyon Varlamov: WIN, 40 Saves, 1 Goal Allowed
This one was a little rough to watch, and not just because of the score line. I was a huge Semyon Varlamov fan during his time in Washington. To watch him come back and put in such a dominating performance wasn't too much fun.
As has been a running theme thus far in the Caps season, tonight's game saw another player make their NHL debut. With Wilson, Latta, and Carrick having made their debut in the first game, Nate Schmidt became the fourth to make their debut. He played alongside Steve Oleksy and had some good moments, even joining the rush a couple of times. He also took some rough hits as a result of watching the play too long. He would finish the night -1, 3 shots in 14:35 ice time.
Speaking of firsts, Nathan Mackinnon notched his first career goal tonight with a powerplay strike in the second. I only mention this because it honestly feels like the Caps consistently gives guys their first career goal. In fact, Mackinnon was the third player to do it this season alone.
Despite the score line, the Caps did look improved at even strength, especially in the second period. They dominated possession for prolonged stretches, but just couldn't cash in. A big part of this is that they seem to struggle getting the puck to high scoring areas. It's great to control the boards the way they do, but teams are going to let you do that if it means taking away the middle of the ice. I still think that it's time Oates re-examines the lines, but he might not given the strides they have been making.
The third line of Chimera, Fehr, Ward was by far the best line tonight. It seemed nearly every shift they were creating quality chances, eventually leading to Fehr getting the lone Caps goal.
The training staff definitely earned their paychecks tonight. On the Caps side of things, Marcus Johansson had a scary moment after he collided with Ovechkin in the first period. He would not miss any time. Brooks Laich went down later in the game and was forced to head back to the locker room, though he would return. For Colorado, Cody McLeod would need to be helped off the ice after taking an Ovechkin shot off his knee. He did not return. Even referees were not immune as linesman Steve Barton needed to be helped off the ice in the third period.
ERAT WATCH: 10:00 DOUBLE DIGITS!! Seriously though, he looked really good tonight. Probably his best game of the season. If not for some rough breaks, he easily could have assisted on a couple of Tom Wilson goals. If Oates is just looking for solid play from Erat before moving him up, I'd say he did it tonight.
Not a lot of good to talk about tonight. They still just can't cash in when they have the chances. The homestand continues as the Caps welcome Edmonton in on Monday.
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About F Street Faithful
Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate. This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals. The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.
In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at York College of Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland.
You can follow me on twitter @FStreetTate but I must warn that I do tweet about more than hockey. You can also e-mail me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.