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February Predictions January 30, 2008

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.
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Since there’s a game tomorrow night, and I’m going to be in attendance, I’m going to do this one day before I normally would.  I’ll try to recap January on Friday night, if time permits.  But one way or another, I will go back and take a look at what I got right, wrong, and sorta-right for January, by the end of the weekend at the latest.  I didn’t do too bad, if I do say so myself.  But that’s going to have to wait for later.  For now, here’s a look at what I see coming up in February, and some of this news, unfortunately, is flat-out bad.

Card 1: Basis.  Card: Ten of Cups–Success.  The basis card, remember, is the general atmosphere surrounding the question.  And if the question is, “How will the Caps do in February?”, then I’d say this is perhaps the perfect Basis card for where things are right now.  January was a success: we’ve gone from 14th in the conference to within arm’s length of the division lead.  Success, indeed.  Those of you who’ve been following the team probably don’t need me to elaborate on this one much: right now, there’s just a general atmosphere of success surrounding the Caps.  This is just a very straightforward acknowledgement by the cards of where things stand right now.

Card 2: Crossing.  Card: The Tower–Demolition.  Ouch.  The thing with crossing cards is, they’re always read face-up.  So there’s no way I can sugar-coat this at all.  This is bad, Caps faithful.  Very bad.  The crossing card, recall, represents either the road you’re on, or an obstacle in your way.  Now, the Outcome card at the end is a very positive card, so I’m going to interpret this crossing as an obstacle.  So right now, the biggest obstacle the Caps are looking at is Demolition, a total meltdown, everything breaks, the center doesn’t hold, forget the playoffs, because everything’s falling apart.  This is a very serious warning, to anyone who wants to pay attention: there will be some serious obstacles to overcome in February.  For a while, it may even look like the season’s over and done with, and we’ll be playing out the string come March.  IMPORTANT: this is not the OUTCOME predicted for February: it is the main OBSTACLE predicted for February.  So if this is right, there could be several major challenges to work on in February, perhaps all at the same time.  But that’s not how it ends.  Read on.

Card 3: Distant Past.  Card: Son of Stones–Advocate (reversed).  In terms of time in the season, this position would represent November-December.  Stones represent Earth, the body, very physical, very practical, very down-to-earth people and energies.  The court cards in this deck, from oldest to youngest in AGE, are Father, Mother, Son, Daughter.  (The actual RANK of the cards is Mother, Father, Daughter, Son.)  So in hockey terms, this is a young player, someone with, I’m intuiting here, about 3-5 years of experience on the NHL circuit.  This would be a physical player, someone known more as a checking/grinding type of player.  I had a hunch on this one, and I surfed over to the Ducks’ site to check it.  Brian Sutherby is listed in his 5th NHL season.  Hm.  More penalty minutes than shots since arriving in Anaheim.  Interesting.  No points, but has had three fighting majors since arriving in Anaheim.  OK, OK, I get it already.  This card is reversed, which generally is an indication that this is the bad nature of this type of person.  Sutherby was a 30-point player for us a couple of years ago; since his arrival in Anaheim, double-digit minutes has been a pretty good night for him.  You hate to see that happen to a former teammate, but such is the game.  Not much more to say here, since this is now the distant past.  Godspeed, Sudsy.

Card 4: Recent Past.  Card: Ace of Wands–Passion.  Great card, but not a good position for it to be in.  Wands represent fire, and the Ace represents the pure essence of the element of the suit.  So here, the recent past is filled with passion, flame, spirit, light, warmth, and so on.  And while this is an acknowledgement of the passion the team has shown recently, it’s also an indication that this passion may be receding.  I read this as an acknowledgement of the passion the Caps showed all through the month, but also as a warning: don’t let your passion slide into the past.  Don’t let that fire go out.  Don’t let the light fade.  Don’t let that warmth cool off.  Now is not the time to forget how you got here, to get complacent, to forget the passion that you played with in January.  Keep that fire going, guys.  Don’t let it fade now!

Card 5: General Direction.  Card: Daughter of Stones–Possibilities (reversed).  So if a Son card has 3-5 years on the circuit, we’re looking for two years or less, and a more “earthy” (physical/grinding/practical/down-to-earth) player.  I’ve been wrong before, but this might refer to Jeff Schultz.  He’s in his second year, and doesn’t shoot that much (he has almost as many PIMs as he has shots.)  He’s also been doing OK in the defensive end as of late.  Now, this card is reversed, so that might mean some sort of trouble ahead for him.  Not sure exactly what the nature of that would be–it just looks like he might not have a good February, and that may be a factor in how the Caps do next month.  It may turn out that as Schultz goes, so may go the Caps.  Jeff Schultz may be a player to keep an eye on in February.

Card 6: Immediate future.  Card: Mother of Cups–Motherhood.  Let me assume that a Mother card represents a player with 6-9 (again, intuition) years of NHL experience.  Cups represent emotion; this particular card, specifically, represents a person who takes care of their teammates, and who watches out for them.  My intuition says Chris Clark, now let me check his bio–ninth season.  Yikes.  For you skeptics: that 6-9 years’ experience part was typed before I looked at Clark’s bio, and I didn’t know how many years’ experince he had off the top of my head.  Believe me or not, your choice.  So if that’s right, Clark may return to the lineup fairly soon, and provide the team with a good emotional lift.  This is a short-term card, so I’m going out on a limb to make a concrete prediction: five games in February, tops, and Clarkie’s back in the lineup.  I don’t know if he’ll stay for the next game, but he should play within five.  Just a prediction, and I could be wrong.  But if I’m right, Chris Clark will be back in the lineup at least once before we host the Rangers on the 10th.  Again, he might not be back to stay, but I expect him to at least try to play one game between February 1st and February 10th.  I’ll make it tougher: tomorrow night’s game with the Habs doesn’t count, since that’s still in January.  So if he plays tomorrow night, then sits until after the Rangers game, I’ll call this a misread.  I’m calling it, folks: the captain will return, and soon.

Card 7: Querant (i.e., The Team).  Card: Five of Stones–Material Difficulty.  The Querant card represents where the team is right now, and what it is.  And right now, the team is having material difficulty (read that: injuries–Nylander, Pothier, Clark, Fehr, possibly others playing through it.) Now, if you look back at the Basis card, you might very well wonder, OK, how can you have success and material difficulty at the same time?  Well, it is possible to be successful, but not have a lot of material to be successful with.  How many times have we read in the gossip pages that this celebrity or that was having trouble with their possessions or their money?  So right now, there is an atmosphere of success DESPITE that material difficulty.  I read this card in this position as an acknowledgement that things aren’t quite where they could be for the team, and that things are a little bit tough for the team once you get away from looking at the standings.  Based on the outcome, I read this as a challenge to the team to persevere, despite the injuries right now, and despite the massive obstacles (crossing card, above) that February has in store.

Card 8: Outside Influences.  Card: Seven of Wands: Courage.  This is extremely interesting.  This exact card came up in this exact position at the end of October, when I was doing my predictions for November.  Here, check me.  I said at the time that all the community work the Caps would be doing for Thanksgiving, and their visit to NIH, would be a source of inspiration and courage coming from outside.  Where then will the courage come from this month?  From us, the fans, is what I’m getting.  It’s our turn now, Caps faithful.  Our superstar is signed; we’re in the hunt; and the playoffs are not a pipe dream.  WE have to be the Caps’ courage this month.  We need to get down to Verizon Center every night we can, fill our house, and raise the roof.  WE are the courage coming from the outside.  Let’s not let our team down.  Even if things start going horribly wrong (crossing card, above), we still need to be there, and be the team’s courage.  Even if one of our players has an off shift, an off game, perhaps an off streak, we need to be there to encourage the team, win, lose, or shootout.  This month, Caps fans, WE are the team’s courage.  Let’s be there and make it happen.

Card 9: Hopes and Fears.  Card: Son of Swords–Fairness.  Swords represent the intellect and the element of Air.  The mind, cerebral, a thinking younger player.  3-5 years experience at this level.  And I can’t get away from the impression that this represents Steve Eminger.  I’m looking up and down the roster at this point, and nobody else jumps out at me.  I’ve got to go with my intuition on this, so I’ll call this as Eminger.  And he certainly has a lot of reasons to be hopeful and fearful at the same time.  He’s been in the press box for most of the season, and as far as it looks, he’s only been in the lineup for as long as he has lately because of an injury above him on the depth chart.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I think he HOPES he’ll get to stay on, but he FEARS that he’ll be scratched again (and again, and again) once the rest of the defensive corps heals up.  And that might very well affect how the team does in February, if the cards are making such a point of it.  Now, the Son of Swords card is face-up, so that is good news.  I hope, for the team’s sake, that they do rotate the scratches down the stretch, and refrain from banishing Eminger to the press box for weeks on end.  Because if they do that, and they need him because of (heaven forbid) another injury, he may not be ready to go in a game that has to be won.  This card, in this position, is saying that the hopes and fears of the Son of Swords (which I read as Eminger) will be a factor in how the team does in February.

Card 10: Outcome.  Card: Ace of Swords–Cognition.  Now, despite all the bad news I’ve given so far, the Outcome card wraps things up on a very upbeat note.  The Ace of Swords as an Outcome is about the triumph of pure intellect.  In hockey terms, it’s about thinking your way to victory, outwitting your opponent, mastering the chess match, and success through smart play.  Coach Boudreau has shown himself to be quite the wizard with the X’s and O’s in the last few months, and the team is generally playing smarter than it was at the start of the season.  (I said GENERALLY, so please don’t name-drop Alexander Semin.)  Coach Boudreau is a very good hockey tactician, and if he can teach ALL of the players to play as smart as they can be, then February may end up being a successful month.  Even if things go to heck in a handbasket, the Ace of Swords suggests that there’s a way to out-think the bad news, and that this team will find the way to do that. 

Distribution: Earth 3, Fire 3, Water 2, Air 2.  That’s a normal distribution, which suggests that, as a team, the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions are all in good balance.  Fire and Earth (body and spirit) are slightly stronger now than Air and Water (mind and emotions), which suggests that the team may want to look within for future success.

Bottom line: if the Caps play SMART this month, they should continue with their success.  But if they forget their passion, give up in the face of the coming adversity, or make too many errors in judgement, they may very well be in desperation mode come March.  The outcome looks good right now, but no future is guaranteed.  They can out-think their way to a good record in February, but it may not be as easy as the past couple of months have been.  I see adversity coming, but I also see success despite that adversity.  I hope the team proves me right.

CAPITAL SPIRIT

ONWARD TO VICTORY

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