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Not Good. NOT Good. October 22, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

I’ll leave the post mortem on last night’s Beantown Meltdown to better analysts. All I’m going to say, is that if the other team’s goalie earns Third Star league-wide for his efforts, he must have done something right. While I won’t deny the Caps aren’t playing their best, I do think it’s slightly insulting to the Bruins to insinuate that they won because we were stinking up the joint. We were, but give the other team the credit they deserve. The Bruins were the better team, they played like it, and they earned it. They didn’t inherit a win. Likewise, the Caps earned their loss with their lackluster play.

Remember what I said in my prediction series:

But again, that doesn’t necessarily mean certain victory. What it does mean, is that the Capitals have everything they need to win it all, this year. Whether they use it effectively or not, will ultimately define which way the season goes. What this outcome is, is power and potential–but the victory must be earned on the ice–it’s not guaranteed in the cards. It can be done–the only question I have left at this point is, will it be done?…Whether they win or lose, it will be all and entirely because of their own actions. (Emphasis added)

That part, looks like I got right so far.

This part, not so much…

Win or lose, this team is going to play like champions until the very end–no matter when that turns out to be.

Gentlemen, don’t make a liar out of me.

Now, here’s the part I really wanted to write.

Take a look at the Magic Numbers chart. Yes, in October. Humor me.

Note where the Caps are standing there: 8th in the East. They’re 6th on current points, true enough, but in terms of points available, they’re barely in the playoff picture. A loss on Saturday would leave the Caps with a top-end score of 156, which could put them all the down in 12th, notwithstanding other results. And once you’re down, the only way you can climb back up is to keep on winning, and hope other teams ahead of you make mistakes. The further down you go, the more teams ahead of you have to make mistakes for you to climb back in the picture. You can’t make the playoffs in October, but you can certainly get eliminated from them with too many early losses.

Now, I’m not going to get out on the ledge and say that Saturday night’s Atlanta tilt is a must-win, or else WE’RE DOOOOOOOMED! There’s lots of hockey left to play, lots of Caps wins still to come, and no doubt a good number of losses to come for teams further up. So, panic is not allowed. Just because Tim Thomas was doing his best Reed Richards impersonation twice in three nights doesn’t mean we need to be dreading gloom and doom for the next five months.

It does, however, mean that the Caps need to play this Saturday like the team that dismantled New Jersey 7-2 a couple of Saturdays ago, and not the team that snuck out of Music City with an overtime win last Saturday. I’m all for giving new lines time to get familiar, but ten percent of the season seems a bit much.

The ship will no doubt be righted, but this storm we’re in is no fun. I will still hope there are better days to come.




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