Friday, November 20, 2009
The Caps almost pulled the rabbit out of their hat in the final threeminutes tonight but a determined Carey Price and a Canadiens defenseemerged with a hard fought victory.
Any team coached by Jacques Martinis going to be structurally sound in the neutral zone and Montrealproved to be very frustrating to Washington's speedsters.
After alackadaisical start in the first ten minutes, Mathieu Perreault andEric Fehr continued to demonstrate good chemistry together and theyclicked to give the Capitals the lead. Fehr put that snap shot awaylike the goal scorer the club hopes he can be.
That gave surprisestarter Michal Neuvirth a lead to protect in goal for the home team.Neuvirth was victimized by two deflection goals and a bullet power playtally from Mike Cammalleri. Otherwise the 21-year-old net minder wassolid, not necessarily spectacular.
The Caps broke in 19-year-olddefender John Carlson tonight, and it was great to see the emotionalreactions of his family, particular his mom Angela in the stands. Theyoung man didn't appear flustered much by his surroundings. He threwhis weight around, he ripped a hard shot off the post, and kept hiscomposure as his ice time mounted.
The Caps lost Tom Poti to an upperbody injury in the 2nd period, which means they are likely to recallanother blue liner from Hershey in time for Saturday night's action inToronto.
The fans were treated to a big time strap between GeorgesLaraque and John Erskine in the first period. Erskine more than heldhis own against one of the league's heavyweight champs.
You could makethe argument the Caps outplayed the Canadiens this evening. Montrealwas bound and determined to hook and hold and slow the tempo down, andthey squeaked out the victory. Now we turn our attention to the Capsand Maple Leafs tomorrow at Air Canada Center. You can find that gameon CSN.
GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins went into today’s game against the Cardinals somewhat banged up and they exit with a couple of additional injury concerns in the form of concussions.
Center Spencer Long left the game in the second quarter. Initially it was announced that he had been evaluated for a concussion but that he had been cleared. But after halftime the word came down that he had been retested and it was determined that he does have a concussion. Long has entered the concussion protocol.
Veteran John Sullivan, picked up earlier this season when Kory Lichtensteiger went on injured reserve, filled in a center the rest of the way. He is a capable fill-in but if Long is out he would be the only available center. The Redskins might have to sign a center if it looks like Long will be out of action against the Eagles.
In the fourth quarter safety Will Blackmon left the game. According to Redskins coach Jay Gruden he was being evaluated for a concussion and a stinger. His exact status is unknown. Gruden will give more information during a conference call with reporters on Monday.
[MORE: JOSH NORMAN ON HIS CRUCIAL FOURTH-QUARTER PENALTY]
GLENDALE, AZ—The Redskins had a couple of chances to stop what would eventually turn into the Cardinals’ game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter. The first one came when they went for it on fourth and one at their own 34. It was a gutsy call by Arizona coach Bruce Arians and David Johnson make him look smart by popping off a 14-yard run.
The Cards earned that one. But it looked as though they got something of a gift a few plays later when Josh Norman was flagged holding receiver Larry Fitzgerald. It was a borderline call, granting Arizona a gift third and five conversion. Two plays later Carson Palmer went in for the kill, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson.
On the field, Norman seemed to be none too pleased with the penalty flag. He said after the game that he thinks that Fitzgerald may have stolen a flag.
“He [Fitzgerald] was within five yards. Larry is a wily vet,” said Norman. “I'd been doing it all game, kind of . . . He breaks out and I go for the ball and the flag got thrown. We'd like to see that not happen in that situation because there was some good position, some good leverage. And a flag came out.
“It is what it is. You can't blame a call on that, blame a call on this. It's whatever, man.”
Norman is right. The Redskins blew plenty of chances to take control of the game and the blame can be spread around on both sides of the ball. But the flag will loom large as the Redskins try to shake off this loss and get ready for the Eagles next week.
[MORE: ANGRY JAY GRUDEN SAYS REDSKINS 'NOT EVEN CLOSE' TO THINKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS]