Friday, January 20, 2012

Caps v Canes (Jan 20th)

Tonight the Caps went on the road to play the Canes.  This is a game the Caps should of been able to win and really could of used a win to solidify their place in the standings.  Alas that was not the case.  The Canes pitched a 3-0 shutout and it seemed like the only Capital who decided to show up was Voko.  Guess what, the Caps were on CSN tonight, bumping the Wizard's down to CSN+!  This is something we have been calling for here at AOTI for awhile now and we would like to take full credit for getting the Caps off the forsaken and poorly lit CSN+.   It really sucks that the game the Caps finally get onto the main station was tonight.  Come on, after all the work we put in for you guys you lay an egg like this?  Not cool.  Your making us look like idiots and we don't need any more help with that!  O well, the Wiz didn't do so great either so I guess we'll call it a wash but if the Caps get sent back to the dark, dingy recesses of CSN+ they got nobody to blame but themselves.  Next game is on Sunday against the Pens.  You know what that means, its going to be an NBC game.  We might get another awesome game coverage by JMU2012, or we might not!  Enjoy your weekend and our take on the CSN crew's performance from tonight!

Third Star (1 pt):

Kelli Johnson.  In Kelli’s second appearance she only handled the immediate post game.  She ran through some Pens/Habs highlights smoothly and was very steady energy wise.  Last time we saw Kelli I knocked her for not showing enough energy when the Caps were doing well but tonight she was able to remain very engaging even though the Caps were awful.  The second half of her spot was Wizard’s highlights.  Normally, talking about not-hockey is a no-no.  However, on a night where we were absolutely mortified at the Cap’s performance on CSN it was nice of Kelli to show us the Wiz blowing a ten point lead and losing over on CSN+.  It might not feel great to be a Caps fan tonight, but thanks to Kelli we can all take some joy in the fact that we aren’t Wizard’s fans.

Second Star (2 pts):

Alan May listed his three keys do the game during the pregame show: Outshoot, crisp breakout passes, and limit the Canes’ speed between the blue lines. The Capitals did none of these things. They were outshot (by 50%) for the I-don’t-even-know-what-number-anymore consecutive game under Hunter. The breakout passes were terrible. Too much time pinned in our own zone was a problem for the I-don’t-even-know-what-number-anymore consecutive game under Hunter. And the Caps sure as hell didn’t limit the Canes’ speed through neutral. Hell, they had more goals on our powerplay than we did. And after the game, May admitted that he chucked his phone across the room after one-too-many Caps miscues. And that, in a nutshell is why we here at AotI adore Alan May. Not only is he a studly, informative commentator, but he also manages to connect with us as hockey fans. He’s not afraid to get emotional, whether it be in victory or defeat. I know I was about ready to break something at times tonight. He does a great job of saying what we’re thinking, except with way more actual hockey knowledge than we possess.

First Star (3 pts):

When Smokin’ announced he would be doing postgame highlights, we made a pact among ourselves. Since tonight was a pretty blah night for the commentators, and even more blah for the players on the ice, we decided that if Koken could come up with a non-Vokoun Capitals highlight, we’d give him the first star. He managed to pull not one, but TWO Capitals chances out of that shitstorm, one featuring Mike Knuble hitting the post, and another featuring Eakin picking up Halpern’s rebound and putting it back on net. Both highlights from the fourth line, which about sums up how the Caps played tonight.  I also have a special place in my heart for anyone who gives the “babysitting line” some attention. (Eakin 20yr, Matty P 24yr, Knuble 39yr)

Other Participants (0 pts):
Joe B: Complained at the lack of fire wagon hockey.  Games just aren’t as fun to call as they used to be Joe B?  Also told us we would be seeing Rob Carlin post game, when in fact it was Kelli Johnson who is very much not Rob Carlin.

Locker: Not much to say about his performance, just a standard night at the office.  You could tell he was not happy with the Caps lack of shots though post game as he talked with May. Also, I can’t help but feel like Joel Ward is probably not the best guy to ask about how to avoid having your shots blocked.  

Last Star (-1 pt):

Rob Carlin.  On a night where there were no really stand out performances from the CSN crew Rob gets the short end of the stick.  He handled the first and second intermission breaks solo tonight.  He never made a huge mistake or was even that bad running through the highlights.  What lands Carlin in the bottom tonight was his complete lack of energy that he brought to the table.  There have been nights where Carlin has been my favorite guy on the CSN crew and I have been hoping he gets more shots at running the intermission breaks.  Unfortunately, the nights that Carlin is on his game are also the nights when the Caps are playing well.  Carlin’s performance is directly linked to the team on the ice and he really needs the Caps to be playing well to feed off their energy.  If Carlin can figure out how to put in a good effort on nights like this when the team seems to be sleep walking then he may be able to take his work to the next level.  Admittedly this is a difficult thing to master, keep your head up Rob!   

Thanks for reading and don't forget you can follow me on twitter for more AOTI goodness and other random thoughts @dru90.
See the top right for complete standings at this point in the season.  We also just added a new poll on the right hand side of the blog so YOU can vote for YOUR favorite CSN personality.

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