a win is a win" talk.
But after the Caps barely hung on in a 5-4 victory over Atlanta Thursday night, a game eerily similar to many others in which they let an inferior team gain ground on them in a sloppy third period, it's become apparent that their power play is just not right.
This is a team that finished 2nd in power play efficiency last season and lost none of its key parts, yet now boasts the 19th most effective unit in the league at a mere 16.0% after Thursday's 0-7 debacle.
The sample size is small and I am confident they'll right the ship in due time. Having four of the game's most skilled offensive players - Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin, Green - tends to have its benifits.
But what if these players aren't being used in the proper capacity?
I've maintained for a while now that Ovechkin's seemingly unlimited offensive potential is maximized when he is situated on the left hash marks on the power play, as opposed to the point where he plays now. Having him fire in a dozen slap shots a game from the blue line isn't necessarily ineffective, although usually half of those shots are either blocked or deflected away from the net. But Ovechkin with a clear path to the net is about as dangerous as Gary Glitter at a YMCA youth camp. Furthermore, placing him closer to the net will force the defense to collapse on him, paying huge dividends for whoever replaces him on the point and thus boosting the overall effectiveness of the power play.
I'm really not sure why I haven't been hired as at least an assistant coach at this point in my career, but whatever. It's all politics I guess.
Anyway, without further ado and no logical segue, I present your Friday Furburgers - links from the week, for the weekend:
Nice article on Nicklas Backstrom's rise to stardom. Lock this guy up, pretty please.
Great statistical recap of the 2008-2009 NHL season. This is required viewing for any true hockey fan. Spoiler alert: Alex Semin deserved to join Ovechkin and Green on the NHL First All-Star Team.
Just as he was last year, Alex Ovechkin is the most clutch player in the NHL.
The Hockey News
Since making fun of the Redskins will never get old, it's important to note that they do, in fact, still somewhat resemble a professional football team. Classic.
Our pals at Hogs Haven interview an Eagles fan in preparation for Monday's inevitable annihilation at Fedex Field.
Wilbon endorses Sherman Lewis as a legitimate head coaching candidate. The DCLS does not endorse Wilbon.
This Skins fan, writing for a financial blog, absolutely tears apart Dan Snyder from a corporate management perspective.
The Motley Fool
Matt Mosley, former Cowboys beat writer and current NFC blogger for ESPN, is an idiot. And the Pope poops in the woods. Duh.
Speaking of Mosley, I pulled up this little nugget from my days as an avid Drew Bledsoe reader. God I loved that blog.
The so-called ESPN panel of "experts" (yes, I still hate you, John Hollinger) previews the Wizards.