Originally written on Sportaholics Anonymous  |  Last updated 10/13/14
It's obvious Washington Capitals head coach Dale Hunter is treating every game like a playoff game, as he pulled starting goalie Tomas Vokoun 5:09 into tonight's game after the Czech netminder gave up 2 goals on the first 7 shots he faced.

But the Capitals players didn't seem to get the message.

Washington lost 5-0 tonight to the Carolina Hurricanes as they were shutout by Justin Peters, filling in for Cam Ward, Carolina's franchise leader in virtually all goaltending categories.  Peters, who has spent most of the season in the ECHL, was supposed to present Washington with a golden opportunity for a much-needed victory as they fight to stay in the playoff picture.  Jusitn had gone 1-3-0 in only 4 starts, with a 3.65 GAA.  But it's hard for the Caps to score against any goalie when they only muster 17 shots.

More damaging, however, was the frequency of Washington's defensive zone turnovers.  Dale Hunter decided to make Dmitry Orlov a healthy scratch, and it showed, as the Capitals were sloppy and careless in their own zone all game long.  And Carolina made them pay.

The Capitals continue to have lofty aspirations, which has been well-documented in this blog.  But with reality slipping further and further away from expectations seemingly with every game, the likelihood of General Manager George McPhee making a trade (or two) will continue to grow.

And if the trade winds had already begun to blow for the Washington Capitals, then after tonight's game they have reached Hurricane strength.

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