5-9-1: An Improvement for the Washington Capitals

Travis LoftisCorrespondent INovember 7, 2007

Last night, the Washington Capitals managed to snag a point in Atlanta.

Without it, the Caps would have sole possession of 15th place in the Eastern Conference.

As it stands, being tied for 13th (and five points behind fifth) seems far better.

It was a shame Caps fans couldn't watch last night's cellar-dweller showdown, because it sounded on the radio like a great goalie matchup.

Besides not being able to tell which Kozlov was Viktor or Vyacheslav, all I heard was "SAVE BY PAVELEC!"

Unfortunately, out-shooting the Thrashers 32-31 wasn't enough. The Washington power play disappointed again—while 1-4 is helpful, 2-4 would have gone a long way towards boosting that pathetic average.

The PK played well, killing six penalties from Ilya Kovalchuk and Co. But momentum in the NHL is hard to acquire, much less maintain. When you kill a penalty, taking another nine seconds later is a killer—even if the defense kills it off again.

Todd White's goal in overtime gave him 100 in his career. I wish he could go back out West. The Thrash always seem to have that one guy who isn't a top sniper but can still get the best of the Caps (see Jon Sim).

No matter how you slice it, though, a point is a point.  It's nice to see that Michael Nylander can still actually shoot. I'd been worried for a few games.

It needs to be mentioned that VS has no business telling fans which games they can watch. No one could see this one, as it's time conflicted with the battle of New York.

Rather than send two crews, the network chose to only cover the Isles and Rangers.

That's cool, VS. I'm just upset that I couldn't see the NHL debut of the next Martin St. Louis—and the son of a Hall-of-Famer, in Chris Bourque.

All in all, the Caps played much better defense, and a better team game.  Having seen what CSN and VS define as highlights—if Pavelec doesn't play like he did, the game ends much differently.

It'll take at least a repeat effort to sneak a point out of Ottawa on Thursday. Good luck, fellas—you might need it to keep your jobs.