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Instant Reaction: versus Toronto, 12/6/10 December 7, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

Did the Caps’ offense fail to produce?
Or did they simply run out of juice?
I don’t know who’s to blame
For conceding this game,
But I’ve only two words: NO EXCUSE.

Tonight’s game, for better or worse, could be the one that ends up defining the Caps’ 2010-2011 season.

If the Caps win the Stanley Cup, it will be because they took tonight’s loss to heart and resolved to do better for the rest of the year.

On the other hand, if the Capitals end up getting sent packing in the playoffs–which will only be a matter of time if they keep playing like this–then this is the game that will be held up as the model for how the Caps ended up breaking an entire city’s heart, all over again.

The Capitals have evidently learned nothing from Game 5 against Montreal last spring. You can’t take ANYTHING for granted in this league. AT ALL. The Maple Leafs may not exactly be a powerhouse team in the NHL, but they are, last time I looked, still a team in the NHL. They’re not some ECHL squad visiting Verizon Center for a preseason friendly. Just because they’re lower in the standings does not mean that they’re a lesser team. There ARE no “lesser teams” in the NHL–only more or less successful teams. Mail it in, even for a couple of minutes, and you’re toast. That’s what happened in Game 5 last April, and that’s what happened again tonight. And that’s probably what’s going to happen all over again this coming spring, unless improvements are made. NOW!

When I finished up my predictions for this season, I had this to say in the final position:

So, even though I’d love to give some indication of how this season will turn out, there’s no way for me to do that with these two cards in the Outcome position. The ability is certainly there, and obstacles can be overcome, but that’s all these two cards will say. There is no destiny or certainty either way; the ultimate result, I stress once more, will be what is earned.

And the Capitals definitely earned that loss tonight. If you give up a 3-goal lead after two periods, you don’t deserve to win, period. The Maple Leafs wanted it; the Capitals evidently did not; and the final score was a reflection of that. The Capitals earned this loss, and they’ve also earned all of the angst that’s going to fill the Capitals blogosphere in the next couple of days. I can’t even figure out how to put a silver lining on this one. Tonight’s game was absolutely indefensible.

I’m going to wrap this up with an open question, and it’s this.

Are these guys serious about winning the Stanley Cup?




1. CapitalSpirit - December 7, 2010

One very quick note on the current NHL standings. Pittsburgh has overtaken the Capitals for first place in the Eastern Conference. However, even if the Capitals had won tonight, Pittsburgh would still be in the 1 spot. Their win-loss records are identical, right down to the shootout wins. The next tie-break is head-to-head, and they have yet to face each other. The final tie break is goal differential, and Pittsburgh owns that one, with +24 to the Caps’ +17. So, even if the Capitals had won this game, they would still be in second place.

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