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Saturday Roundup/Gamenight: Caps @ Stars

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Focus? Focyou!

Why lead this morning's post with a juvenile play on words that doesn't even make any sense? Because focus is precisely what the Caps need right now - sixty minutes of mental acuity from 19 individuals reading from the same sheet of music.

In each of the Caps seven games so far, with the exception of the Vancouver win, there have been notable spans in which the team gave up multiple goals in short order or otherwise evidenced of a lack of sharpness that was more than just a series of physical lapses. A recap:
  • Atlanta: Three goals allowed in 5:28 of the first period, three goals allowed in 2:10 in the third
  • Chicago: Goal allowed 0:26 into the game
  • Pittsburgh: Two goals allowed in a 2:34 span that included the first intermission, thanks to a Too Many Men penalty and a John Erskine Delay of Game (natch).
  • New Jersey: Two goals allowed in 1:08 of the third period
  • Calgary: Two goals allowed in 1:42 of the second period
  • Phoenix: Two goals allowed in 4:03 of the third period
Point being, the Caps aren't doing themselves any favors by compounding their mistakes. Goals against happen. Bad plays happen. But in most of the above instances, whether the initial event is a mental or physical mistake (or not even a mistake at all), the second (and third, and fourth...) events have mostly been of the brain fart variety.

As the cliche goes, the most important shifts of a game are the first ones after a goal, and while the Caps may not be getting burned on those exact shifts, they're not necessarily responding to opponents' tallies as they should be. The Caps simply need to do a better job of collecting themselves in these post-goal minutes, and that, at least in part, is on Bruce Boudreau.

Stars tonight. Go Caps!

H/t to EDCEagle on the Caps Message Board for the inspiration

Elsewhere 'Round the Rinks:

Darryl Reaugh is giddy about AO coming to town. Too giddy? You be the judge:
"The guy who looks as though he was chiseled out of a glacier, had a little 'manscaping' done and then was taught to speak broken English will bring his bag of testosterone to AAC on Saturday and it will be delicious."
Yummy?... Joel Broda had a pair of goals against Calgary.