The Washington Capitals lost to the Dallas Stars 2-1 in what was a very close game. Despite the loss, I did see some good things:
- Alex Ovechkin is still pretty decent at hockey. Another game, another goal.
- The penalty kill was once again very good. Stars had zero goals on two powerplay chances.
- Defense looked better tonight. Connor Carrick looked like a guy who knows he belongs in the NHL. Steve Oleksy gets a tip of the hat for playing on the left side, something that he’s not used to doing. Karl Alzner and Mike Green were their usual selves.
- Great rebound game from Braden Holtby.
There were, however, some bad things that contributed to the Capitals loss:
- John Erskine made a critical mistake that led to the Stars first goal. The video:
How did the Stars get such a golden chance? To quote Craig Laughlin, “HOLD IT HERE!!!!!!!!!!!”
- Second goal was either the fault of the forwards for not getting back on time or Adam Oates’s fault for calling for a line change at the worst possible time. As much as I just ragged on John Erskine, Erskine and Steve Oleksy did the right thing when defending an odd man rush. The video:
Don’t care who is to blame for the forwards not getting back in time, you can’t leave your defense hanging like that, especially not on an odd man rush. If it’s a lack of hustle that caused that second goal, Adam Oates needs to do this next practice:
Overall, an encouraging loss because of how much better the defense played. Offense just had an off-night. Hopefully the defense can build on this performance and continue to play as well as they did against the Stars.