With Game 1 on F Street decided handily by the foe on Wednesday evening, Thursday morning brought a surprise optional skate (with a surprisingly low attendance rate).
It also, presumably, brought an until-our-eyeballs-bleed film breakdown - a film breakdown session that would, presumably, illuminate some anecdotes about what worked (not a whole lot), and what didn't (a whole lot).
Since we aren't privy to the inner workings of the Caps' meeting rooms, here are some things that may have come up:
- Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, together at last.
Granted, the Ovechkin/Backstrom duo was out there for one of the Islanders' three even-strength goals (and Ovechkin wasn't exactly blameless on it), but if their performance over the regular season is any clue, that's not a trend that's likely to continue. Presumably.
One would expect the Ovi and Backs to be reunited for puckdrop at game 2— something we were calling for before game 1...
#Caps lines this am: 8-92-42, 90-19-20, 25-16-83, 22-21-43. Defense is same is it ever was. Same as it ... ever was.— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) April 17, 2015
- Brooks Orpik and John Carlson vs. the Tavares Line
To give you an idea of Carlson and Orpik's effectiveness, note that when Jack Capuano got these guys onto the ice against other pairings Tavares skated at a 76.2 CF%, Kulemin at a 66.2, and Strome at an 88.9. The difference is night and day, and Barry Trotz needs to continues to use the coaching advantages granted by last change - while Carlson and Orpik need to continue to do whatever it is they're doing, because it's working.
What Didn't Work
- Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen against almost literally anyone.
- Braden Holtby
- Troy Brouwer / Evgeny Kuznetsov / Marcus Johansson