Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Things are not great in Caps land right now. With Calgary in town tonight, Carolina winning all the time, and oodles of 3 point games happening the Caps' playoff hopes look dimm. This weekend was flat out horrible especially considering how we lost and to whom we lost .If we miss the playoffs however, I don't think we will look to this weekend to what did us in.

I believe there are 5 games that were turning points. Games that if they were won would have made these two back to back games last weekend not as crucial (and not as devastating).

Game 1 
Sat Feb 2nd 2008 vs Atlanta Thrashers. Verizon Center

The Caps came into this game 3 pts behind Carolina for first place in the Southeast. The Caps had come off an amazing and inspring 4 goal game by Ovechkin. The Thrashers had played a late game in New Jersey the night before AND did not have Ilya Kovalchuk in the lineup. The Caps played well but could not get anything past Lehotnon. The Caps could have propeled themselves past Atlanta and put them 1 point behind Carolina but did not.

Game 2
Saturday Feb 8th 2008 vs Carolina Hurricanes. Verizon Center

The Caps had recovered from the loss to Atlanta and actually took the Division with a one point edge over Carolina. In this game the Caps had the chance to keep the lead and bump it to 3 points over the Canes.

The Canes came out and looked like the team that won the Cup just 2 years ago. They put two goals up early and never looked back. It was very similar to the Atlanta game because Carolina relied on their goaltender the rest of the way to make some great saves. The Caps Powerplay went 0-7 that night against the worst Penalty Killing in the league. The end result-The Canes take back first.

Game 3
Saturday March 1st vs Toronto Maple Leafs. Verizon Center

Good teams beat the teams they need to beat when they need to. That sounded extremely stupid however it is true. The Caps needed two points to keep up with the streaking Canes, they needed it that night, and the Leafs are a team they should beat.

Ovechkin started it off great breaking his scoreless streak and putting the Caps up. It was all down from there however. Toronto looked like they wanted it more, they outworked the Caps and with the help from a miscommunication and a falling Mike Green, they won the game.

The end result dropped the Caps from a decent 3 points back to a whopping 5 points back.

Game 4.
Saturday February 23rd at Carolina Hurricanes. RBC Center

In what was called the "biggest game of the year" the Caps were simply outplayed. The goaltending was not the greatest and the defense was worse. Rebound after rebound came and no d-man cleared it leaving guys like Eric Staal easy goals.

The Caps had the opportunity to catch up with the Canes and be 2 points out WITH 2 games in hand but failed miserably.

Game 5.

Game 5 is the overall Southeast trip. With a possible 6 points the Caps walked away with 3. Against Atlanta the Caps again dominated most of the game but lost in a shootout predictably (Olie was in net for the shootout). Two days later the Caps had a lead early in the third period but let the Panthers come back and steal two points from the Caps. Two crucial games against mediocre teams where the Caps had the lead ended with 1 point instead of 3.

I hope this post means nothing in the next few weeks. I hope it's garbage that we never think about again.

With 12 games left, there is a huge task ahead. There is still time and a small window of opportunity. Today Brooks Laich said this...

“Bruce came in and talked after the game and said ‘You know what, from now on we’re just going to win.’ It’s as simple as that. I don’t think anybody thinks we’re out of it yet.

Just win is right. I think it's safe to say we should see some desperate hockey from this team, I mean uber desperate. If not, they may need to check their pulses.

Tuesday Wrap-up

  • Huet's new helmet is in but won't be using it until Friday.
  • Ted came down to hug Backstrom and saw Semin naked. He does not like the Ovechkam.
  • Rumors had it that Clark was playing Wednesday-might be next week now.


If the Caps are going to get back into this, they need some teams to lose. And while everyone is pretty negative right now please consider this.

If Carolina loses Wed and Friday and the Caps beat Calgary and Atlanta this week; The Caps will be only 3 points behind Carolina with 1 game in hand and two games left against them.  OR if Philly loses tonight and tomorrow and the Caps beat Calgary and Atlanta they will only be 2 points behind Philly for the 8th seed.

Yes, it's a lot to ask. But, it's something that could definitely happen.

With the long rant today there is no gameday preview. Make sure you check out JP, Cheap Seats, Caps Blueline, Peerless and the rest for in depth coverage of the Caps/Flames and the debut of Ovechkam.

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