Friday, February 17, 2012

Caps v Panthers (Feb 17)

Big game tonight for the Caps.  They managed to come alive in the third and stop themselves from falling 6 points behind the division leading Panthers.  As season gets closer to the end every game matters if the Caps want to find themselves in the playoffs.  Tonight was an important part of that, but it was only the first step.  Back to it tomorrow against Tampa.  Here is how the CSN crew did after a long break:

3rd Star (1 pt):

Locker comes in third tonight.  He handled his normal color commentary duties tonight as well as the intermission interviews.  He does a nice job setting up the significance of the game in the first period by stressing the importance of getting of to a good start on this extended road trip.  He first interview of the night was with Jay Beagle.  At that point there really wasn’t much Locker could have asked him and as a result the interview seemed a bit lazy on his part.  In the second period, Locker gives some love to D-Wides by pointing out just how many minutes he eats up for the team each night.  The major highlight for Locker in the second was him getting upset at the washed out Knuble call in the dwindling seconds of the period.  His second intermission interview was with a very sad looking Alzner.  In the third, Locker did a really nice job explaining what happens when a ref has to leave the game and how it effects the officiating crew and how they call the game.  It was pretty interesting and a nice bit of insight from Locker. 

2nd Star (2 pts):

Alan May. May had a relatively quiet night (by his standards), but was still solid. Listed his Keys to the Game as play tough on the puck all 60 minutes, get traffic in front of the net, and win the special teams battle. Well, the Caps’ effort tonight was solid throughout, as they outshot the Panthers by a fairly wide margin and looked dangerous, with only some stellar netminding from Theo (and a shitty call by Eric Furlatt) keeping the Caps off the board in the first two periods. The effort paid off as they finally broke through in the third. As far as traffic in front of the net, well, Knuble scored one, but the aforementioned Eric Furlatt decided it shouldn’t count. Well, we can’t fault May for the ref being a fucking idiot, so we’ll give him points for that one. And the Caps did win the special teams battle, albeit with only one goal, so May gets credit for that too. Also made me laugh early on when Ovechkin and Wideman’s spat during practice yesterday was brought up. Without missing a beat, May said, “Hockey’s not for babies,” and moved on.

1st Star (3 pts):

Joe B takes tonight’s top honor tonight.  He started the game letting us know that the PP has been less than stellar on the road.  His first period highlights were rounded out as he fed us a cool fact about Voko being a 9th round pick.  That is crazy.  The second period was filled with big calls but unfortunately they were all save-calls because of Jose’s outstanding play.  In the final seconds of the period a Knuble goal that would have tied the contest was washed out and Locker was outraged.  Joe B was also upset with the call but kept a level head and calmly explained to us the letter of the rule that was used to make the call.  In the third period the Caps got a chance to go on the PP and Joe B said he had a good feeling about it.  A few minutes later Ovie knocked one home and the Caps didn’t look back.  Coming out and saying he thought the team would score on the PP, especially after his earlier comments about the Cap’s road PP woes, was pretty impressive and helped to solidify Joe B in the top spot.    

Last Star (-1 pt):

Chris Miller. I was rather surprised to see Miller in on the Caps on a night on which the Wizards also played, since I’ve always though of him as more of a basketball guy. After tonight, that belief has been reinforced. Miller wasn’t bad in his first intermission coverage, but he was pretty lifeless. Not a lot of energy, and was pretty obviously reading the details of the Hal Gil trade and highlights of the NSH/DET off a teleprompter. He was significantly more vibrant when talking about Jeremy Lin and other basketball highlight so in the postgame show, but we don’t give out points for basketball highlights, now do we. Miller gets last star for just being meh, and clearly not caring a whole lot about hockey.

That's all we got for you tonight.  Thanks for reading! 
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