Well, that kinda sucked.
At one point Holtby let in every shot he faced, but I guess that eventually improved considering he now has an 82.4 save percentage.
But, how much can we really take from the first game? Was that just first game jitters? Rust?
I’d like to think it is, but I also kinda think it wasn’t. It is pretty rough that the Caps started off the season away. Before I make any official judgements on this team, I gotta see them play at home. That is where we will really see what kind of team this is.
They looked tired, some even looked invisible. I don’t think it was a wise move to roll with 7 defenseman and 3 and 2/3 lines of forwards. It mixes everything up too much. Teams strive on chemistry. If you develop this chemistry, you know exactly where everyone is on the ice. That cannot happen if you are constantly swapping guys in and out.
Some quick notes on what I observed:
Ovie, Backstrom, and Johansson are going to have to step up. It was ONE game, I know, but they may very well be our only true scoring threat week in and week out. Sure, others on this team might step up to an extent, kinda like tonight, but we are going to have to rely on the Ovie-Backy-Mojo line scoring each game if this team is going to win.
Ribeiro and Wolski looked great. Wolski played hard, inspired hockey, like a man who wants to earn more than $600,000 a year. Ribeiro was all over the ice creating plays.
Carlson played phenomenal, and he is going to have to play that way for every single game.
The rest of the defense looked pitiful. I’d put about 70% of the blame on them, not Holtby. I mean, we have Roman Hamrlik as our second line defenseman. Hamrlik probably shouldn’t even be playing in the NHL anymore, but who are we going to replace him with, Schultz?
Holtby had poor positioning. He was overly aggressive, and left gaping holes in the net. There was some areas in the game where he did look solid, moving very well with the puck.
Joel Ward is currently the leading goal scorer in the league. Teehee.
This team is going to have to step it up, plain and simple. Mainly the defense, but I’m worried that that may have honestly been the best effort we are going to see. Our top line is going to have to get AT LEAST a goal a game. But, I won’t judge yet. Come home boys.