Friday, December 12, 2014

Ochovechkin Down, Geno to Go

Thank You Bob!!!!
Last night the CBJ stole a game from the Capitals, prevailing in overtime on Nick Foligno's second goal.  It was a '2' night for Nick.  2 goals on 2 shots.  The fancy stats folks will tell you that this is an unsustainable shooting percentage, and he will regress towards his average.  Ummm, yeah, 100% seems a little unsustainable.  He also had 2 hits, 2 takeaways and 2 points.  Since I wear a Nick's number 71 to most games, I am loving this.  I was especially pleased to see that Jarmo reached out to his agent about contract discussions.  Nick is having a really good season.

At any rate, in spite of losing big in the shot column, the Jackets somehow managed to come out on top of Alexander Ovechkin (or Ochovechkin as Mrs. Gallos likes to call him, since he wears number 8) and company.  When the fancy stats people tell you that shots, missed shots, and blocked shots (e.g. Corsi events) are a surrogate for possession, they are not lying.  Washington dominated puck possession, especially during the first two periods, with Ochovechkin taking a season high 9 shots.  But the Jackets came away with the two points, though they left the Caps with one, because this is where the conversation turns to Sergei Bobrovsky.

Bobrovsky has been on an unbelievable tear, posting crazy numbers over the last few games.  Let me check.  According to the lads over at Puck Rakers, Bobrovsky has saved 167 of 176 shots during the 5 game win streak, for a .949 save percentage.  Wowza.  Bob has been exceptionally sharp of late, which the team is going to need if it is going to climb back into the playoff race.  Interestingly, the team is actually very close to the position it was in last year at this time (based on number of games), but last year razor sharp Bob did not appear until January.  In short, the CBJ have about as good a chance of making the playoffs this year as they did last year.

Which makes us turn our attention to the Penguins.  The news, via Puck Rakers again that Crosby is out for the game, because he appears to have the mumps that is sweeping through the NHL is good for the CBJ.  However, we know too well that Evgeni Malkin is plenty capable of carrying the Penguins.  If you recall Geno pretty much single handedly punched us out of the playoffs with a hat trick in Game 6, so he's got the goods to make tomorrow's game very uncomfortable for the CBJ.

Last year we did not have much, if any, success against the elite teams during the regular season.  Even though the Penguins are somewhat battered, they are still a very good team.  A win would be a step forward in the grand scheme of things, and given the crazy injury situation seems a bit much to expect at this juncture in the season.  Thus, a loss tomorrow is no reason for worry, so long as we play respectably.  A win would be 6 straight, and would erase a previous 6 game losing streak, so would be mighty nice.  We shall see.

And again, the injury bug has bit us.  The bad news, brought once again by the Puck Rakers, is that Scott Hartnell has a broken finger, and is on injured reserve.  Let's see, that's Boone, Bob, Wiz, and Hartnell who have all experienced a broken finger.  Gee whiz, when is it gonna stop?  Apparently Kerby Rychal has been called up from the AHL to fill the vacant forward spot.

The hits just keep on coming.  But the team is hanging in there.


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