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Sunday Roundup/Sabres 7, Caps 3

[AP Recap - Boxscore - Super Stats]

Hey, Cox customers who are petitioning to get more Caps games televised: maybe you should be sending your cable provider "thank you" notes this morning for sparing you from having to watch last night's blowout.

While I'm not in a position to comment on individual performances (I was at a wedding last night and my TiVo decided not to record the game), the trends that have formed are way to obvious not to mention. Consider the five games so far:
  1. Dominate a crappy team, outshooting them 40-29
  2. Beat a good team, outshooting them 33-23
  3. Beat a good team, despite being outshot 12-31
  4. Lose a close game to a good team, outshot 41-25
  5. Blown out by a good team, outshot 53-26
What's next - mercy-ruled by a good team, outshot 65-20?

Despite this lost weekend in the Empire State, the sky is not falling quite yet. And if the Caps can win three of every five games this season, they'll make the playoffs (of course if they lose three of every five, they won't). Things will get better as the team gels more and gets some key players back from the injured list. Plus, they're 2-0-0 within the Southeast Division with 30 more intra-divisional games to go.

But the disconcerting stats are there for all to see - 24th in goals per game, 19th in power play efficiency and DFL in shots against per game. Other key indicators are in the "acceptable-to-good" range - shots for per game, penalty kill percentage, faceoff percentage and goals against average - but through five games it's evident that though the rebuild may be over, the immediate need is for some readjustment.

The Caps have a few days off to get healthy and work on some things before the Isles come to town on Thursday, and there's that Pens game Saturday looming on the horizon. Like these past two games, both of those matches will provide the Caps with tough tests - let's hope they can earn at least a passing grade.

Daily Awards
  • Hart: Joe Sakic (3G, 3 SOG, 4 takeaways)
  • Ross: Brian Campbell (4 points)
  • Norris: Brian Campbell (4A, +1, 6 SOG, 2 hits, 2 blocked shots)
  • Vezina: Martin Gerber (W, 36 saves on 37 shots against)
  • Richard: Joe Sakic (3G
  • Calder: Tobias Stephan (L, 2 goals allowed on 40 shots against in OT loss; lost shutout with two seconds left in regulation)
  • Aiken: Chris Mason (L, 6 goals allowed on 23 shots against in 47:36 of work)