Jay Beagle - I'm officially going to stop giving this guy crap. Really, the only reason why I ever do in the first place is because I don't think he should be on the first, second or even third line. But Beagle has been performing quite well. His goal tonight was really one of two serious offensive chances the Caps got on five on five. He also works his tail off, which is what virtually every Cap says about him. I still think he is a fourth line player, maybe a third. And tonight he did play on the third, and he certainly looked like he belonged.
Brooks Orpik - I actually think that was one of his better games he's played in a while. He finished with a positive corsi (54%), good for sixth highest on the team and tops among Caps defensemen. I'm not quite sure why he was the Palm Player of the Game, but, then again, I disagree with that award virtually all the time. But he certainly earned his award in overtime. It was Orpik that took the point shot that gave Fehr the rebound goal. Solid game for the physical forward, who was certainly physical.
Braden Holtby - He strung another solid game. Remember when everyone was freaking out about him? Why? Why did you do that? The guy has stopped 112 of the last 118 shots he's faced in the last four games, good for a .949 save percentage. Did you honestly think he was going to stay at a .890 save percentage all season? On top of that, the Caps are still maintaining a low amount of shots against them, which will be excellent in the long run. Now, they just got to start generating some offense, and then things will really start rolling.
Lack of Offense From Top Lines - That's now three plus games without a goal from a top six forward, according to Japers Rink. That is pretty awful. If guys like Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom aren't generating offense, the Caps won't win. In fact, well, they haven't. They lost in a laugher of a game to the New Jersey Devils and then proceeded to get immediately outplayed against the St. Louis Blues. Oh, and they just squeaked by the Coyotes. The defense is getting the job done. Holtby is getting the job done. The forwards are just not. That's what is separating the Caps from being a top team right now, which is odd, because when has this team ever struggled with offense? Pretty much never since the Ovechkin era, which is why I believe it's just a matter of time before all of this magically clicks together. Just be patient.
Tom Wilson - I get that he was the "Honest Abe Player of the Game." I get that he is still only a few games into the season after coming back from his injury, and I get that he had a very physical game. All of those things are excellent, but I just don't think he played well as a top line forward this evening. Were his hits great? Yes. But is that his sole responsibility on the top line? No. He needs to generate some offense, and tonight, he wasn't. He wasn't at all. And it showed, Fehr eventually saw some time on the top line. He needs to improve if he wants to stay with Backstrom and Ovechkin, and man, oh man, do I hope he does.
Possession (Via hockeystats.ca)
Top Five Corsi Percentage at Even Strength
- Eric Fehr - 75% (83% offensive zone start)
- Troy Brouwer - 75% (89% offensive zone start)
- Marcus Johansson - 65% (89% offensive zone start)
- Andre Burakovsky - 61% (88% offensive zone start)
- Evgeny Kuznetsov - 60% (57% offensive zone start)
- Tom Wilson - 32% (17% offensive zone start)
- Alex Ovechkin - 35% (29% offensive zone start)
- Nicklas Backstrom - 36% (33% offensive zone start)
- Karl Alzner - 42% (78% offensive zone start)
- Jason Chimera and Joel Ward - 43% (73% offensive zone start)
Update: Graph of TOI Competition Percentage vs. Offensive Zone Start Percentage. Color Represents Fenwick Percentage and Size Represents TOI Per Game. This data is for 5 on 5 even strength time close game situations only, through 18 games.
|Graph Via War On Ice|
Goal - Jay Beagle (2)
- Assist - Jason Chimera (2)
Goal - Eric Fehr (OT) (3)
- Assists - Brooks Opik (5), John Carlson (10)
Braden Holtby - 23 saves on 24 shots, .958 save percentage
Quote of the Night
"Holts? Great. I mean, I think he's great every night. I mean, I'm....he's a great goalie, so..." - Jay Beagle, stuttering through his quote because he couldn't understand why anyone would question how good Holtby is.