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Postgame: Flyers @ Capitals 4/11/2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Not a good loss tonight.  The Flyers allowed the Capitals to spend too much time in cycling around Martin Biron.  Often times it seemed as thought the Flyers were sitting on their heels, waiting for the Caps to take control of the puck and move forward.  The winning strategy would have been ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK.  Control the puck and you control your destiny.

In the Penalty Box: Jaroslav Modry.  First law of defense: do no harm.  Modry was on ice for at least 3 Capitals goals, directly culpable for Brashear’s opening tally and partially responsible for Ovechkin’s closing one.  We all expect better from a veteran defenseman in playoff situations. [EDIT: SuperStats just posted.  Modry a minus-4 game.  Pretty bad when you consider Briere was a plus-2.]

Unsung hero: Ryan Parent wasn’t perfect tonight, but he certainly did not look like a rookie playing his first NHL postseason game.  Calm, cool, and collected with the puck – and only 21 years old with less than 20 games NHL experience.  He even successfully covered Ovechkin on a few occasions.  I can’t wait to see this kid in a few years.

How the @#$*! did that happen?

– Danny Briere scored two goals, but he also took two sloppy penalties.  The second penalty led to Mike Green’s tying goal.  Again, veteran players need to be responsible in these situations.

– I love Lasse Kukkonen, whether we’re talking his shot blocking excellence or his cool decisions with the puck.  I even love his recent ability to agitate (face washes with Crosby and involvement in scrums this evening) – a surprise given the quiet, non-physical style of his play.  But by the time you reach the NHL, you have to know where you are on the ice and who is around you.  Especially when Ovechkin is lurking behind your own net.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. sportsaddictforlife permalink
    Saturday, April 12, 2008 7:42 pm

    Lasse can’t take all the blame. He only had a second to get control of the puck before Ovechkin was on top of him. Plus AO had just tipped the puck into the air, making it harder to control.
    But I guess in hindsight (Which is almost always 20/20) Kukkonen probably should have just tried to swat the puck away from the net as soon as it came near him.

  2. The Frozen Fan permalink
    Sunday, April 13, 2008 2:50 am

    You’re right – you don’t want to lay too much on Kukkonen. Jaroslav Modry stood by the net and watched the play; he was stationed about where Ovechkin scored. Some might contend that with Ovie standing in the crease with the puck in a tied game, it’s a great time to take a penalty.

    That said, the bigger issue may be a habit the Flyers have developed lately. Stevens mentioned throughout the year that he wants his defenseman to either make an outlet pass or carry the puck through the neutral zone to set up the cycle. Recently, when those options aren’t readily available, the Flyers pass the puck backwards towards their own net. Washington plays with at least one man high at all times, and they can find ways to take advantage of the Flyers’ backpeddling.

    It comes down to awareness. Know the time on the clock, the score, the location of the puck. More importantly, know that Ovechkin loves to hang out in the corners or at the blue line waiting to pounce on a puck popping free. You have to be aware of his location when he’s on the ice. He took advantage of Kukkonen in a big way.

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