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Two Point Friday

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If you're wondering what the title refers to, it's nothing more than that it's Friday and I have two points to discuss (plus, "Mailing It In Friday" didn't sound as nice, though might be a more accurate title).

First off, earlier in the week, we took a look at the power play, not because it was the Caps' biggest problem (it's not), but because it was just about the most obviously and easily correctable issue to all of us armchair power play quarterbacks.

Today we'll throw the 23rd-ranked penalty kill out for discussion, because while it may very well be the team's biggest problem spot right now, the answers are by no means obvious.

One thing that will help is a healthy Boyd Gordon. Gordo has missed seven games this season, and the PK has struggled in his absence - with Gordon in the lineup, the Caps have killed off 81.3% of their opposition's power plays; with Gordon out, that number plummets to 73.8%.

One reason that Gordon is such a key to this team's penalty kill is his ability in the faceoff circle - the team has won 53.9% of its shorthanded draws when Boyd plays, and just 46.3% when he doesn't. That's a big difference, and it matters. Get well soon, Boyd.

So what thoughts/theories/suggestions do you have to improve the penalty kill?

***

The second point I wanted to make was about Sidney Crosby.

PensBurgh and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Seth Rorabaugh rightly take their hometown boy to task for his "it was a cheapshot" quote in reference to Alex Ovechkin's hit on Number 87, but I found another post-game quote interesting.

When asked about the injury he suffered when he got tangled up with David Steckel, Sid responded, "I don't think it's too bad. We'll see [today]. I haven't seen [the replay], but it felt pretty bad."

Huh? What does seeing the replay have to do with how his shoulder undetermined injured body part felt? Is Sid implying that the hit might have been dirty (when no one asked)? Maybe not, but it's an odd quote from someone who, in fairness, is very much under the microscope and has every phrase he utters parsed by folks like me. Still, I can't help but wonder if Gary Roberts would want to see a replay before he answered a question about how his shoulder felt...