Last night's game was not one of those games.
The Caps dropped a 3-2 game to the Lightning in front of just over 8,000, and, as Dave Fay put it, the loss "looked familiar," rife with bad penalties, an ineffective powerplay and mediocre penalty-killing (though mediocre penalty-killing may actually be a step up for this squad).
A quick run-down of what I liked and what I didn't from last night (and for more, check out this thread from the Caps message board recapping the game):
- Alex Semin looked good, though at times tried to dance with the puck too much in his own zone. His goal was a beautiful shot, and he was actually 4-for-7 in the faceoff dot - pretty impressive, especially for a winger. He also went face-first into the boards and lay on the ice for a few minutes for the scary moment of the night. The way that kid plays, he could get killed on any given shift.
- Olie Kolzig looked very sharp, for the most part.
- Ben Clymer was solid if not spectacular on D, catching up to a few partial breakaways from behind and playing Vinny Lecavalier well in a 1-v-1 situation. He did, however, fail to tie up the man in front on Tampa's first goal.
- I like Mike Green. A lot.
- Kris Beech made a couple of nice passes that were not converted.
- Richard Zednik is just as disappointing as when he left, showing nothing over sixty minutes except a propensity to be out of position and in other people's way.
- Brian Pothier looked mediocre, especially when he kicked Tampa's second goal into his own net. Remember all the good bounces you got in Ottawa, Brian? Don't expect 'em here.
- The faceoffs were pretty bad and will continue to be so all year, I fear. Other than Semin's win percentage, the one brightspot in the faceoff dot was the Brooks Laich draw win that led to the Semin goal.
- Eric Fehr looked terrible, failing multiple times to clear the puck out of the defensive zone on set plays and taking two bad penalties.
- Rico Fata and Matt Bradley are just taking up space at this point.
- Finally, the biggest ovation of the night may have gone up when the Arena showed some Asian kid doing The Robot (among other killer moves), further confirming what I've noted before: Caps fans love dancing Asians.
That's pretty much all I've got for now, though I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that the Lightning dressed a guy (Mitch Fritz) who is listed at 6'8", 258 and looks even bigger - an absolute mountain of a man.