The second game of this series could be summed up in two words: missed opportunities. From the early powerplays to some gilt-edged chances that fell to Matt Cooke (why him?!) the Capitals had more than enough opportunities to win the game.
It's incredible to see a powerplay that can trot out Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, Federov, and Mike Green struggle to create any clear chances but hats off to the Flyers for pressuring the puck and getting into the passing lanes. The early powerplays would have helped take the wind out of the sails of a Flyers' team that was amped up and loathe to return to the City of Brotherly Love down two games. Instead, the Capitals fell asleep and let RJ Umberger walk in alone on Huet to give the Flyers a lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
As good as Huet was in the run-in to the end of the season he was that bad on both goals. Umberger's was a floater that he should have had and the rebound on the Carter goal was far too juicy especially since the Caps decided to stop backchecking. Also, note to Mike Green, welcome to the playoffs and keep it simple from here on out.
I noted in the game game day thread that the Capitals have somehow managed to lose 12 of 18 series in which they have won game 1. After being shutout in game 2 the Capitals have lost their margin for error going into Philadelphia. This is a club that hasn't played a road playoff game in five years and most players have never entered an environment as hostile as the Wachovia Center. Even the battle hardened Leafs squads of 2004 and 2003 looked like deers in the headlights in the face of the Orange Crush.
Then again, the Capitals' kids could just be too inexperienced to know that they are meant to fold in the face of such an atmosphere. If they are going to win then they'll have to be much better five on five and maybe the hockey gods could have the best chances fall to a sniper instead of a agitator.
Around the NHL
Steve looks at Tlusty's performance in the AHL so far this season. Looks like there might be at least one bright light in the Leafs' future.
Sean keeps hammering Donny Brennan who apparently wants to unseat Damien Cox as Mittenstringer of the Year.
Mike Chen has a screen capture of the hit that turned last night's Flames-Sharks game. I thought that Marleau was dead.
Moose plays Miss Cleo and predicts a Sharks' collapse during last night's game. Unreal. Now I am sleepy at work.
JP found more little things that upset him. The lack of attacks on the Flyers that ran Huet is disturbing. The politeness of the Caps' blueline made the Leafs's defence look tough.
Gustafsson was at the game. Oh to be able to go to playoff games...I want to see those fight pictures. Stay classy Flyers fans.
- Via Mirtle it looks like the Canucks are going to sign Swedish sensation Fabian Brunnstrom. I think we can safely predict that he'll put up decent points and then disappear in the crunch so that he can fit in with the Sedins and Naslund. If he is awesome then JFJ might have a non-signing on his worst moves ever list.