Found March 09, 2012 on

Six days ago, an article on this site stated that the Capitals’ inconsistency was likely to doom their chances to make the playoffs.  Since that article was posted, Washington has compiled a record of 1-2-1 during the last four games of a five game home stand.  Somehow, magically, as other teams have faltered as well, the Caps find themselves in the final playoff spot of the Eastern Conference — tied with Winnipeg with 72 points, but having a game in hand.  Meanwhile in the Southeast Division race, Washington is two points behind Florida, although the Panthers have a game in hand over the Capitals.

So, it’s not beyond reason that many Capitals fans may wonder why this writer is so negative about the Caps chances.  Let’s lay out a few points to consider:

  • The Capitals are 4-5-1 over their last ten games and have averaged just two goals per game over that period — and were shut out three times.
  • Washington has just fifteen games remaining, nine of which are on the road.  With a season record outside of Verizon Center of 11-18-3, it’s clear that the remaining four weeks of the regular season will truly be an uphill battle.
  • Four of the fifteen remaining games are against teams who have at least ten more points in the standings than the Caps.
  • Washington’s power play has been non-existent for the past ten games — a single goal in 25 power play opportunities.  Not only are the Caps unable to score with a man advantage, but they have given up nine shorthanded goals this year — third worst in the NHL.
  • The Capitals’ discipline has broken down.  At one time in the first third of the season, Washington was one of the top teams in the league in terms of fewest penalty minutes per game.  The Caps now rank 24 of 30.
  • And, in late breaking news, after waiting so long for the return of all-star defenseman Mike Green, Washington will again find themselves without his smooth skating and deft puck handling on their end of the rink — the NHL just announced a three game suspension for a hit to the head of Tampa Bay’s Brett Connolly last night.  This may well turn out to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

While nothing would be sweeter than Washington riding a solid winning streak into the playoffs, based on their recent performance, that’s unlikely.  We can only hope that they ‘wake up’ and start to play tough, gritty hockey for a full 60 minutes for the remainder of the season.  That’s exactly what’s required as the regular season winds to a close.

Let’s Go Caps!


Capitals defenseman Mike Green suspended 3 games

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green was suspended for three games without pay by the NHL on Friday for a hit on Tampa Bay rookie Brett Connolly. Green hit Connolly in the head while Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov had the Lightning forward pinned against the boards in the second period of Washington's 3-2 overtime victory Thursday night. Connolly stayed down on the ice...

Capitals D Green to face disciplinary hearing

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green will face an NHL disciplinary hearing Friday as a result of his head to the head of Tampa Bay rookie Brett Connolly in Thursday's game. Green drove his upper left arm and shoulder into the head of Connolly, who had been ridden into the boards by Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov and was in a vulnerable position. Although no penalty was...

Mike Green Talks About His Suspension

from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider, Your reaction to the suspension? Green: “I was obviously disappointed, moreso that I wouldn’t be playing. It is what it is. I understand their point. By no means did I intentionally do anything to harm anyone. It’s just unfortunate for myself.” Did your elbow come up on the hit? “No, I didn’t get my elbow up at all. I don’t...

Mike Green Suspended Three Games

As first reported by Chris Johnston, Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green has been suspended three games without pay for a high hit during Thursday's night's victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Green targeted the head with his forearm/elbow on the play against a defenseless Brett Connolly. It is hard to blame Brendan Shanahan for taking this course of action. ...

Mike Green Suspended Three Games for Illegal Hit to Brett Connolly's Head (Video)

Mike Green has been Shanabanned. The Capitals defenseman has been suspended three games without pay for what was deemed to be an illegal hit to the head of Lightning forward Brett Connolly. The incident occurred at 11:03 of the second period during Thursday's game. Connolly was battling for the puck with Washington's Dmitry Orlov behind the Capitals net when Green came over...

Are the Capitals Finding Their Identity?

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The Washington Capitals kept up their latest surge and piled on the misery of a fading playoff contender Sunday, with Michal Neuvirth getting his third shutout of the season in a 2-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Neuvirth made 23 saves, and Brooks Laich and Matthieu Perreault scored for Washington. The Capitals remained a point behind Florida for the Southeast Division lead...

Brooks Laich's Power-Play Tip-in Proves to Be Difference in Capitals' Win Over Bruins

The Bruins made the Capitals sweat it out on Saturday, recording a goal late in the third period to cut the deficit to one. But Washington was able to hold on for a 4-3 win, with Brooks Laich's tip-in tally serving as the game-winner. Laich's goal came at 17:31 of the second period. With a man advantage, the Capitals demonstrated excellent puck movement and patience until...

Capitals 4, Bruins 3

Alexander Semin had a goal and set up Jay Beagle's go-ahead score Saturday, lifting the Washington Capitals to a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins. It was the second straight win for the Capitals after a three-game losing streak (0-2-1). Washington moved two points ahead of Winnipeg and is now in sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Washington also trails...

Practice: Mar. 9

The Washington Capitals were on ice Friday morning for a practice following their come from behind win over the Lightning on Thursday. Some updates from Kettler Capitals Iceplex: All of the healthy forwards were on ice for the skate, certainly an improvement over the last week or so in which a lot of players have been taking options.  The lines were as follows: Johansson-Laich...

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals 3/6/12

Tuesday night's 4-3 overtime win over the Washington Capitals goes down as one of the most exciting Carolina games I have seen this year. With 85 combined shots and 44 scoring chances between both teams, you would expect an exciting contest. However, "exciting" and "good hockey" are not synonymous and this certainly was a sloppy played game by both teams....

Road Warriors?

What does it mean? This time last week, the Washington Capitals were, as they have been for almost the entire season, in disarray.  They had just dropped another disheartening game where they had been shut out, and had only managed to pick up one win during their season-long five game homestand. Since that game, the Capitals have picked up seven of a possible eight points against...
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