F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 11/10/13 at 10:50 PM ET
The Washington Capitals ended their brief Western road trip with a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche. It was the second and final time the two teams have met this season, with Colorado taking both games by a combined score of 9-2. This game was rough to watch, and that is about more than the scoreline. On to the reCap:
Washington Goals: Ward 8 (Grabovski)
Braden Holtby: LOSS; 32 Saves; 4 Goals Allowed
Colorado Goals: Bordeleau 2 (McLeod, Cliche); Holden 1 (Landeskog, Stastny); Parenteau 6 (Duchene, Johnson); Landeskog 6 (Johnson)
Semyon Varlamov: WIN; 33 Saves; 1 Goal Allowed
Let's get the unnecessary complaining out of the way first. The ice tonight in Colorado was absolutely abysmal. Players were falling down and the puck never seemed to settle for anybody. I'd also wager each team's first goal was a result of this. Both goals resulted from the puck taking a weird bounce in the right, near-side corner that left the puck coming back to the slot. Almost equally as bad were the referees. Holds, hooks, and trips were repeatedly left uncalled. And it seemed neither team knew what was and wasn't a penalty. Heck, they were so hapless, Ovechkin had to call a Too Many Men penalty himself. That's become a bit of a problem in the NHL. Officiating can change so much between games. Last night against Phoenix, the teams combined for 30 non-fighting penalty minutes. Tonight it was 14.
I'll also add I disagree with the upholding of first goal for Colorado. How Bordeleau's redirection was below the crossbar is beyond me.
The Caps themselves had a goal (rightly) overturned late in the game as Ovechkin kicked the puck passed Varlamov.
It had been a while so the Caps were due to allow a first career goal. It came less than a minute after Ward had tied it up with defenseman Nick Holden beating Holtby after some great work by Landeskog.
That Varlamov dude is a pretty good goaltender.
Incredibly scary moment as Alexander Ovechkin was left in a heap on the ice after a collision with Jan Hejda. Honestly, who knows if it was a trip that went uncalled or the ice just being that poor. Ovechkin stayed relatively motionless on the ice for over a minute before skating off on his own power. He did not appear to miss any time.
Nate Schmidt, a day after taking a horrible DOG penalty against Phoenix, looked like a much different player tonight. He still has some way to go in becoming an NHL-level defenseman, but the few times he joined the rush showed just how much skill this kid has.
The Caps' ineptitude with the two-man advantage continued tonight, blowing a one-minute 5-on-3 advantage. They controlled the puck for almost the entire minute, but they just don't move enough to draw defensemen out of position or tire them out.
Tonight, it was just a matter of the Caps not being fast enough to keep up with Colorado. The Caps had plenty of prolonged shifts in Colorado's zone (after the first period), but, as usual, they couldn't turn it into shots. At some point this team has to be able to move the puck successfully between the circles.
So, a two-game road trip gains the Caps a lone point and they will head back home to play Columbus on Tuesday.
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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.