Saturday, December 5, 2009
I have never seen a team come out so flat after a coaching change sure the Capitals were pin point effective and by far the better hockey club but I expected more from Philadelphia.
For a short while it appeared that the game would be a usual barn burner between two long standing rivals. The Dan Carcillo first period incident with Matt Bradley changed the whole game. We all know that Matt is an honest fighter and that normally two guys that are going to scrap are both willing combatants who decide it's time to go, drop the gloves and square off. Dan Carcillo instigated the fight when it appeared Bradley wanted no part of it and then threw a wicked right cross before Matt even had time to get the gloves off and engage him.
It was great to see the guys respond and rip three power play goals for Bradley during the 9 minute man advantage which put plenty of distance between themselves and the Flyers. The power play puck moment was precise. Nick Backstrom does a nice job coordinating his teammates and putting the puck to places where they can generate quality chances. That's part of the reason why he had 5 points this evening.
Ray Emery did not put up much opposition in the Flyer Net. He appeared tentative on a couple of the goals which is out of character for him when he is on his game. Jose Theodore wasn't overly test tonight but was steady when need be. It was good for him have Tom Poti back in the line-up protecting him. Poti can be a stabilizing influence for this club on defense with a defense core bolstered by Mike Green's two goal, two assist effort tonight.
But it was the offensive fireworks that propelled Washington to a lopsided win. David Steckel chipped in his first of the year, which brought the team total to eight on the night. In the 36 seasons of Capitals hockey, they've never produced a goal scoring display like this in Philadelphia. Let's hope they save some for Tampa Bay on Monday.