What’s Defense ?

 Isn’t that what you have enclosing your yard ? De-fense ? Defense was certainly not what either Our Stars OR the Capitals played in almost any amount . 

 When this game started , I was excited . I was going to get to see both MY Dallas Stars and Alexander Ovechkin play (Ovechkin has been my favorite non-Stars player since he came into the league) . Down here in Texas where I live , unless you can afford NHL Center Ice , it is hard to catch almost any Eastern Division games except for the few that Vs. carries . I hate the Vs. network . I really hate Vs. .

  I hoped Our Stars would pull a win out of their hats with this game , but despite their best offensive efforts , they could not beat Jose Theodore often enough . It was not the offense that was not good enough , it was the defense , or rather , the lack thereof that caused the problem and the loss in overtime . 

 The Caps did not play great in the game , they just played less awful defense than Our Stars did . Both teams looked like photo copies of each other throughout the game . Both teams had great attacks and multiple foul-ups in their own zones . Both teams’ defensemen made mistakes under pressure when they tried to make exits from their own respective zones . Both offenses proved that they have many threats with great ability to score . Both teams were very evenly matched , it was only the amount of mistakes that were made that ended up deciding the game .

 Marty Turco did not earn my vote for a Star of the game . He is a good goalie , but right about now , I am sure that there are people yelling about Mike Smith and how it was a mistake to let him go . Well , we have what we have and we have to go on . Marty is not a bad goaltender , he just has not found his “groove” yet . For the record , Smitty is still losing games , but he is also facing like a million shots a game (okay , not a million , more like forty plus – each game) . In Tampa , they do not have defensemen at all unless you count Swiss cheese .

 Our defensive corps have not found their “groove” yet either . It seems that they are all suffering from Sophomore-itis . Niskanen , Fistric and Grossman were all rookies last season , but are now making rookie mistakes . The worst thing about that is that it seems to have rubbed off on Trevor Daley as well . Boucher and Robidas are still as solid as ever , but if you only have two out of six defensemen “on board” you are missing the rest of the corps . BUT , they are not the only players with the defensive problem . Sorry to name names , but Brunnstrom had several “accidents” that were definitely not what our team needed . He is only one example of players who need to work on their defensive game that is a forward . He is not alone in this deficiency . There are others but I need not name them off since you probably saw the game , you know who they are (I just wanted to pick on my wife’s new future boyfriend) .

 Modano , Petersen , Crombeen and Lundqvist are Our Stars’ ONLY positive players on the plus / minus rating . Every other player who has been active this season is either even at zero or a minus . Some of those minuses are not pretty ones . I know that plus / minus ratings do not tell the whole story , but it is definitely an indicator mark for defensemen . When one of your defensemen are , ohhh say , a minus five , I could not say that I would want that player on the ice in the last two minutes of a tied game or even on the ice in a four on four overtime period . Boucher has done well in his attempts to score and fix his plus / minus rating , but being there for your forwards is just as important to scoring as actually doing it yourself .

 This game was like a second-rate roller coaster ride from the beginning . There were good parts , there were bad parts , but there were no wonderful parts . When the offense was rolling forward , I was watching our defense slack off . That was painfully apparent when the Caps had several breakaways on Turco off of hard rebounds from Theodore that Our Stars’ defensemen did not get to at the line . When the defense was trying to clear their zone , the Caps came in with pressure and forced turnovers . The bad thing about this last paragraph is the fact that if you reverse the order of Turco’s and Theodore’s names , the same would still be true . I am sure that neither coach was happy with this game . One point or two , it still was an ugly win and an ugly loss .

 MY STARS of the game ;
 1. Mike Modano – For an “old guy” , he is still playing his wrinkles off
 2. Stephane Robidas – He beat Ovechkin into the boards every single shift . I love both guys , but Robi’s on MY team , Ovechkin is not . Sorry Ovie .
 3. Sean Avery – He caused some screw-ups by the Caps (but then who didn’t) , scored a goal and earned an assist . He seemed to be easier with the puck against the Caps and did not seem to force things . When things are forced , mistakes are made .
 4. Mike Ribeiro , Cap’n Morrow and Loui Eriksson – They get to share this one because they did cause the Caps many issues and they all got points either by assists or goals .
 5. Krys Barch – He gets the fifth one for having the balls to take on Brashear . He also gets the fifth one for not knowing that Brashear was going to pound the hell out of him . Do your homework on your opponents next time Barchy . Hot tip ; don’t take on Georges Laraque either .

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~ by Adam on October 26, 2008.

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