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A Few Random Observations: vs PHI, 3/4/2012 March 5, 2012

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.
  • There’s an old saying that reduces to, “For want of a nail, the kingdom is lost.”  The Capitals are running out of nails entirely too quickly for my liking.
  • Zero power plays for the Caps tonight, and it wasn’t because the Flyers committed zero fouls.  I get that the refs were content to let ’em play, but some of the shenanigans looked more than slightly sketchy.  I’m sorely tempted to make a wisecrack involving the refs’ female relatives and Broad Street, but I try to keep this an all-ages blog, so I’ll leave it alone.
  • I also owe a huge thanks–and a bit of an apology–to the crew at the Silver Spring Metro station.  I’d been out and about a bit in Silver Spring before coming home to get dressed for the game.  Meanwhile, the wind picked up substantially while I was indoors, and I didn’t dress for it.  So when I got to the platform and saw an 8-car train headed downtown, I moved to where the back of the train would be, in order to get the jump on the crowds once I got off at Gallery Place.  But there’s no shelter on that part of the platform, so the best I could do for a windbreak was to lean up against the ETEC locker at the end of the platform, and tighten my cloak up a bit by holding it shut.  It was effective, but it apparently caused a minor panic among the station staff:  they evidently thought I was about to jump in front of the train, and they did their jobs and came up to make sure I was okay.  I showed them my game ticket, told them why I was where I was on the platform, and that was that.  So sincerest kudos to Metro for getting it right, and all due apologies to the crew at Silver Spring for giving them a bit too much excitement for one shift.  In hindsight, I perhaps should have taken it as a sign…but that’s another post.
  • Entirely too many Flyers fans in our house tonight.  That tells me that either a lot of Caps fans didn’t like the start time–I hope!–or that a decent chunk of the fan base has already conceded the season.
  • If the Caps get God-forbid shut out, again, by the Hurricanes on Tuesday night–and for the record, the Caps have a 138:48 scoreless streak going against Carolina–then they would have exactly 74 seconds to score against Tampa Bay on Thursday night to avoid the longest scoreless drought in team history, a record which has stood since Halloween in 1989.  Perspective check:  the #1 song on the Billboard charts that day was “Miss You Much” by Janet Jackson; the #1 song immediately prior was “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” by–wait for it–Milli Vanilli. I’m just saying…
  • While none of the Caps would deliberately volunteer to make the mistake which ends their playoff hopes, circumstances may ultimately draft one of them for that dishonor if this lackluster play continues.  1-2-0 after three of five straight at home is no way to mount a late season comeback.
  •  For that matter, the Capitals have led exactly once in this entire homestand:  at the end of the game against the Islanders, when Ovechkin scored the game winner.  In fact, dating back to the All-Star game, the Caps have held the lead for exactly 81 minutes, over 8 games played.  And the majority of that time was racked up in one single game, against Montreal.  The Caps have been playing with the lead in exactly three games out of eight, and one of those they eventually gave away in a shootout.  If that’s home ice advantage, I’d be afraid to see how they play on the road.
  • Oh, wait, check that.  I already am.
  • AND there’s a five game road trip coming up.
  • Meanwhile, Florida erased a 2-0 deficit to put four unanswered goals in on the Senators.  The Caps trail Florida by 5, with only 17 games to make up that ground.  Running out of nails, indeed.
  • Meanwhile, out West, Colorado is sneaking ever closer to a playoff berth.  Over the offseason, the Caps sent disgruntled Semyon Varlamov to the Avalanche in exchange for a first-round pick.  It looked like an almost sure-fire bet at the time:  Colorado had the second-worst record in the league last year  But the Avalanche is headed in the right direction, is 6-4-0 in its last ten, and trails San Jose for the 8 spot in the West (yeah, the Sharks aren’t doing so well this season) by all of one point.  If the Avalanche makes the playoffs, while the Capitals don’t, it could turn into a situation where the pick they traded Varlamov for would be worse than the one they owned.  I hope that doesn’t happen, of course, but it is a possibility…one I don’t think anyone could have foreseen.
  • Meanwhile, season ticket holder renewals are in play.  This level of performance isn’t exactly good salesmanship.  Sold-out home games are not a guarantee, and if these next few home games for some reason or other don’t go well, I shudder to think what that will do for renewal rates.
  • And for that matter, I haven’t renewed for next year just yet.  Probably will, but it’s getting awfully expensive to be so ineffective.  I wish there were more I could do…but there doesn’t seem to be.  And with the team struggling at home as it has, I’m beginning to wonder if whatever it was I was bringing in seasons past, has gone.  Self-doubt is something I have always struggled with, and I am really struggling with it right about now.

All in all, not a good night at the office for the men in red.  I hope to see a better result Tuesday night.




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