Found March 03, 2012 on
Less than two weeks ago, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis called the 5-0 loss to Carolina “ the worst game of the season”. At least Washington had a little bit of an excuse that night — the Caps were playing an away game on the Hurricanes home ice. Last night, Washington ended up on the short end of another 5-0 game at the hands of the New Jersey Devils, who had lost four straight, in front of a capacity crowd at Verizon Center.
To say that Washington played poorly was an understatement. From sloppy passes by defensemen to absolutely terrible goaltending (Michal Neuvirth gave up five goals on only twenty shots) to an inability to light the lamp against a backup goalie even once despite 23 shots on net, it was a night that Capitals fans want to forget.
Meanwhile, as pointed out in last week’s article, time is slipping through Washington’s hands. There are only 18 regular season games remaining, and the schedule only gets more challenging. Fifteen of the 18 are against Eastern Conference opponents, more than half of which are positioned above the Caps in playoff standings. Two of the three games against Western Conference opponents pit the Capitals in away contests against teams having at least five more wins during the season to date.
Meanwhile, as the lifeboat called “The Road to the Playoff” fills with water and slowly sinks; the franchise management seems unwilling to do anything dramatic. Perhaps their view is that they don’t need to — after all, the Capitals are only one point out of the eighth spot in the East. But there were no trades before the deadline, despite a number of players who have not only failed to adequately contribute, but have piled up big numbers on the wrong side of the plus/minus ledger. Perhaps their view is “Why should we worry?” After all, their ‘superstar’ is tied for third from the bottom of the Capitals roster with a plus/minus of -8? Or when only three of the NHL’s 46 goaltenders have a lower save percentage than the Capitals most recent starter between the pipes. Or perhaps the ultimate indicator was an interview comment by Washington’s head coach Dale Hunter that — at least in his view — losing 5-0 was just like losing 2-1 because after all, it was still only two points in the standings.
The booing that was heard in Verizon Center last evening was a rarity, at least when directed at the hometown Capitals. Mark my words, however, unless the Caps wake up and start playing at the level that they are being paid for, there will be many more. Washington’s inconsistency needs to be corrected now. If it’s not — and so far the evidence appears to be that it’s unlikely to be — the odds are that the Capitals will be able to start making tee times in April instead of having to wait until later in the spring.
Let’s Go Caps!
BEST OF MAXIM
At various points this season, Washington Capitals coach Dale Hunter has buried veteran players.He made winger Mike Knuble a regular habitant of the press box. Roman Hamrlik and John Erskine sat out as the NHL trade deadline neared, but GM George McPhee didn’t move them.So still they sit, wearing street clothes while watching their team play.Hunter benched goaltender Tomas Vokoun...
from Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington, Calling it a “benching” or “matching lines” is getting caught up in semantics.
Fact is, Capitals coach Dale Hunter sent Alex Ovechkin over the boards just once in a 12-minute span after his offensive zone giveaway led to the Flyers’ only goal in a 1-0 loss Sunday night.
It should be pointed out that Ovechkin’s linemates, Marcus Johansson...
"There is no silver lining in losing a hockey game at this time of year."
Such was the attitude of Matt Hendricks in the locker room following another demoralizing loss for the Washington Capitals, this time at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday inside Verizon Center.
The Capitals were shut out for the second consecutive home game on Sunday...
from Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington, Dale Hunter finds himself at a crossroads in his first year as an NHL coach.
Does he brush aside Friday night’s 5-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils as just one team taking advantage of its chances and the other team getting stoned by a goalie on top of his game?
Or does he believe what was said in the locker room after the game – that there...
MINI-PREVIEW 10 AM EST
Looking for their first back-to-back victories since January, the Flyers (35-21-7) head to the District of Columbia tonight to take on the enigmatic Washington Capitals ( 32-27-5). The game starts at 7 p.m. EST and will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network.
This is the third of four meetings between the teams this season, and the second and final...
The Washington Capitals were on ice Monday for a practice following another depressing loss Sunday evening against the Flyers. Some updates from Kettler Capitals Iceplex:
Tomas Vokoun returned to the ice after missing the last two practices and one game (sitting on the bench, at least) because of a lower-body injury. He skated for about 20 minutes in full pads before practice...
The big names are still there, the big time talent is still there so why are Washington Capitals out of the playoff picture and fading fast as March begins?You don't have to know hockey to know what is happening with the Caps because the Caps don't have a hockey problem as much as they have a leadership and identity problem. Inconsistency of that magnitude usually begins...
Welcome to the Hotstove! As always, I'm your host, Travis Yost.
On Saturday, Peter Tessier of the Winnipeg Jets and Bill Meltzer of the Philadelphia Flyers joined me to discuss the most enigmatic franchise in the National Hockey League.
With a boat load of talent, a proven goaltender, and a pair of the league's most dynamic players, the Washington Capitals looked like...
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Alex Ovechkin has been playing the role of Harry Houdini in recent days. While the Sabres have been surging towards the eighth and final playoff spot, the Caps have been falling flat on the faces.
Great news for Sabres fans. Buffalo are 11-3-3 in the last 16 games and are playing exceptionally well right now. The news isn't so cheery for the Capitals....
The Washington Capitals were on ice Saturday morning following their 5-0 humiliation at the hands of the New Jersey Devils on Friday night. Some updates from Kettler Capitals Iceplex:
Tomas Vokoun, who has not played in the last four games, was absent because of a lower body injury, meaning the PR director Sergey Kocharov was in goal for the skate. This helps explain why Neuvirth...
“But we’ve still got 18 games. There’s a lot of hockey left. Sometimes you’re gonna lose hockey games. That’s the way it goes. So we’ve got to rebound.”
That’s what Brooks Laich told media members after the Capitals’ 5-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Friday.
But, while the Capitals gave up four fewer goals against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday—the team...
Just when the Washington Capitals appeared to be coming out of their funk this week, they put forth a terrible effort.
The Philadelphia Flyers also can't find any consistent success, but their position isn't nearly as dire.
Though Philadelphia's chances of repeating as division champion aren't as good as those of its opponent Sunday night, Washington is the one...
The Flyers announced that Ilya Bryzgalov will start tonight against the Washington Capitals. A preview of tonight's matchup is here.
The Washington Capitals were utterly humiliated on Friday night inside Verizon Center, falling to the New Jersey Devils 5-0 in the second game of a critical five-game homestand. Zach Parise netted a hat trick for the Devils, who were playing their second game in two nights, and Johan Hedberg recorded his third shutout of the season with 23 saves. With the loss, the Capitals...