More of the same!
Maybe if a game like this was played in the 90′s or in the first part of this past decade the Panthers might have held on. Since the lockout and the rule changes and the new style of play, the Panthers continue to prove that no lead is safe, especially with them. I’m not going to sit here and type that Florida had Washington by their throat, but when you have a three goal lead in your own building against a team that played the night before, and there’s half a game left to play, you should be able to finish it off. Unless of course you are the Florida Panthers, or your playing the Washington Capitals.
The Caps came in a bit angry and were seeking revenge as they were upended the night before by Tampa 7-4, and somehow just knew that if they hung in long enough, the Panthers would breakdown. And sure enough they did.
While Florida played inspired for about 30 minutes, Washington seemed to just be waiting for a chance to make a game changing play. Maybe it was the goal that made it 4-2 by Brian Pothier, or the one that made it 4-3 by Alexander Ovechkin. Maybe it was the fight between Caps forward Jason Chimera (who also scored) and Gregory Campbell. All I know is that Florida let them back in, and this game will haunt them the rest of the season. Steve Goldstein the TV announcer for the Panthers called it a heartbreaking loss. I’m calling it a backbreaking loss.
To quickly review, the Panthers got out to a 2-0 lead after the first on goals by Michael Frolik and Dinty. Chimera scoring for Washington making it 2-1 before Stephen Weiss who might now be over his snubbing not being named to the Olympics, gave the Panthers a 3-1 lead. Then Gregory Campbell scored his FIRST goal of the season and the Panthers were on their way to victory self destruction.
Yes, the prevent D reared it’s ugly head. Or as I sometimes say, the Ghost of Jacques Martin’s defensive system appeared, as Washington scored 3 unanswered goals to tie the game sending it to overtime.
Your number one center Stephen Weiss while getting a goal and an assist as well as a shootout goal, was on the ice for all FOUR Capitals goals in regulation. Do I have to say more? Michael Frolik was also a dandy -3 ,and was not quite in position on the goal that tied the game at 4. Tomas Vokoun made 33 saves and while he played well enough to win, he didn’t have much help from his mates. Yes, he gave up three goals in a row in the shootout, but they shouldn’t have put him in that position to begin with.
Some people might say, well at least we got a point. Screw it. We needed both! We had the opportunity for two points and virtually gave one of them away because we can’t close the deal.
Tonight we take on the Tampa Bay Lightning, fresh off their defeat of these same Capitals, and two points ahead of the Panthers. I’m not going to preview this game, I’ve got too much work to do. Although if I felt better about our chances, I’d find the time. So the only thing to really say is, Panthers need to rebound and win this game. In regulation!
I have a question for Randy Sexton. How does this team look to you now? Still think it’s in good shape? Still happy with what you have? Still feel that we’re going to make the playoffs and that when David Booth comes back (if he does) it will be like making a trade deadline deal?
Not going to fool me again if Booth doesn’t return (of even if he does). The organization will blame that injury for not making the playoffs. They will blame it also on the fact that Kulikov was hurt along with Stillman. The real truth is that we have not been pro-active in trying to improve our club and we are waiting for things to happen instead of making them happen. There is no accountability.
Time for this organEYEzation to look at the big picture. Not just trying to finish eighth!
Oh well, at least Campbell has the monkey off his back and scored his first of the year after 36 games! Whooo Hooo!
Thanks for reading.