Monday, March 17, 2008

Acquisitions Help Acquire Wins

In our recap of Friday’s game vs. the Thrashers, we noted that all the Fedorov-to-Cooke shorthanded dagger lacked was a sparkling save by Cristobal Huet to complete the Trade Deadline Payoff Play. It turns out all we had to do was wait a couple of days for Huet to shut down the Bruins to complete the Trade Deadline Payoff Weekend, which was far superior to the preceeding Attempted Hope-Crushing Weekend.

Not that Fedorov, Cooke, and Huet haven’t been sparkling since the moment they donned Caps’ uniforms, but this weekend was truly their we’re-comfortable-with-our-new-team coming out. Fedorov and Cooke nearly repeated their shorthanded mastery against Boston, and Fedorov threw in a solo scoring chance for good measure, all while continually stealing faceoffs and generally thwarting Bruins’ power plays whenever possible. So successful was the penalty kill effort that it (again) took help (or non-help) from the officials to get Boston into the net.

While the trail official casually picked up a discarded stick behind the Boston goal, Brooks Laich was hooked/hauled down/mauled at center ice, opening a lane for the Bruins to score. Too bad, because this game had Huet Shutout #2 written all over it other than that little breakdown. As it was, Cristobal had his shutout of sorts in the shootout, denying paltry Bruins’ attempts to score.

For the weekend, it was Fedorov with 1 goal, 2 assists, a +2, and innumerable faceoff wins to compliment competent penalty killing. Cooke had 1 goal, 1 assist, +1 and plenty of intangible peskiness and relentless forechecking. Huet stole the extra point Sunday with his .975 save percentage and aforementioned thievery in the shootout.

Not bad for a trio obtained for a 2nd round draft pick (thanks, Anaheim. How’s Brian Sutherby? I’m sure his lone assist in 37 games was sparkling.), Matt Pettinger, and an obscure prospect. Lock up Huet for a couple more seasons’ worth of these weekends (following this year’s playoff run, of course), and it’s even more of a steal.

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