- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 3, 2002

That was the number that kept coming up after the Washington Capitals 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers last night at the First Union Center.
The Caps got off a grand total of 11 shots against the Flyers and left Philadelphia with their 11th loss in their last 12 trips (0-11-1) to the city.
Eleven is also the total in millions of dollars per year that the Caps are paying wing Jaromir Jagr to score goals. If the Caps want him to score more, they'll have to find a way to free him for more than the two shots he got off last night he did get the team's lone goal in order to get their money's worth.
It could have been worse, too. The Caps didn't get to double figures in shots until just 1:52 remained in the game. Needless to say, the Caps' one-game winning streak sputtered to a stop as they remained winless here since Jan. 31,1998.
As for the Flyers, they finished with 45 shots on goalie Sebastien Charpentier and there were several points during the exhibition it could hardly be termed a contest when Philadelphia outshot the Caps by a 5-1 margin.
Without a doubt, this was the low point of the week for the Caps, and that says a lot. It also included a 7-2 drubbing by Boston, a game in which the Caps got off 29 shots.
"Bad decisions through the neutral zone, no discipline, bad penalties we never got into it, never got rolling," coach Bruce Cassidy said. It is a postgame speech that is starting to sound much too familiar, and he, more than anyone else, doesn't like the sound of it. There will be some changes coming soon, Cassidy indicated, but he did not get specific.
Of rookie goalie Charpentier, Cassidy said, "He was there for us in the first period; he was outstanding; he kept us in the game. That's what's disappointing. As bad as we were in the first period, it's scoreless, we're still in it. That's where your leadership in the room has to realize, 'Hey, if we get going, our goalie's into it, we just dodged a big bullet.' But it never happened, never happened."
"Ask them," the coach replied.
The dressing room, however, was deserted shortly after the game and no player was available for comment.
"We were bad but we were in the game," Cassidy said. "As a player, a light should go off but "
When Washington finally did score, on its 11th shot of the game and just its fourth shot on four power plays, Jagr got the goal on a rebound of Sergei Gonchar's drive from the right point with 1:52 remaining.
It appeared the Caps might be getting a few overdue breaks as the game unfolded. Just 32 seconds after it started, Jason Williams was whistled for a penalty, and Washington was about to get first crack with a good opportunity.
Oops. Ninety seconds later, Flyer Kim Johnsson went in on Charpentier on a shorthanded breakaway. The goalie stopped him. Shorthanded breaks don't happen very often, and the Flyers' next one didn't come for quite awhile 30 seconds.
This time it was Simon Gagne who was off and running on a shorthanded breakaway. Charpentier stopped him, too, but there were the Caps not only scoreless on their first power play but outshot 3-2.
What they didn't know at the time was that those two shots in the first three minutes would be half their total for the entire 20-minute first period, an average of one every five minutes. The Flyers took things a little more seriously, their 18 shots coming at nearly a one-a-minute pace.
Charpentier, playing in just his fifth NHL game and only his third this season, on occasion looked like Dominik Hasek. Several times he lost his stick and was forced to defend his goal with body and glove. Once during the second period, his stick ended up in the right-hand corner of the rink 50 feet away. The Caps got control and went the other way but the goalie couldn't leave his post; Robert Lang finally retrieved the stick and bought it to Charpentier.
In the second period, Washington successfully killed the front half of a two-man disadvantage, but Charpentier's luck finally ran out. J.F. Fortin tried to clear the zone, but his attempt was stopped at the right point. There Dennis Siedenberg lined up a shot, paused while interference formed, and shot. The puck glanced off Fortin's stick, off the tip of Charpentier's glove and into the net. The time was 8:35 of the second, and it was the 25th shot the goalie had faced.
Keith Primeau made it 2-0 a little more than three minutes later when, for reasons that beg a logical answer, he was left completely uncovered at the left corner of the net. Gagne to Primeau and pop it was 2-0, simple as that.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide