Beninati: Caps In Passenger Mode

Beninati: Caps In Passenger Mode
December 10, 2009, 3:51 am
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

By Joe Beninati
Capitals Play-By-Play

This one won't be one to write home about. The Caps didn't appear to have much energy tonight, but by the time they found some semblance of themselves, Ryan Miller was ready to slam the door in their faces.The Sabres netminder was razor sharp. The two gloves saves he made in the third period will make all the highlights reels. But you could tell from the opening few minutes that Miller was going to be tought to crack.Buffalo's been struggling to score goals, but they received two from unlikely sources this evening. When Steve Montador and Henrik Tallinder provide the bulk of the offense it's surprising. Credit the Sabres for a well-played game. They stuck to the plan and made life miserable for Washington between the bluelines.There was very little flow to this game and that was exactly what the Sabres and Lindsey Ruff wanted. From my point of view, this is one of the few games all year where Washington was not dictating the play. They never seemed to have their best skating legs in this contest.When the Caps don't move their feet they become a lot easier to defend. Bruce Bourdreau uses the term "passengers" to describe players who were just along for the ride in some games. Too many Caps were stuck on that mode tonight.

There's no denying the schedule had been grueling. But the Capitals express a desire to be the best in the business, and it was tough to see their six-game win streak relinquished without much of a fuss.I know the guys are looking forward to being back home on Thursday and Friday. They'll be much better when the doors open at Verizon Center for the Hurricanes. After that the long road awaits them.