Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14

A little more than a week ago, an article entitled “The Washington Capitals — Hanging By A Thread” chronicled half a dozen reasons why the Capitals playoff chances were fading quickly.  Since that date, there’s been little, if any reason, to change that opinion.  There are certainly those who will argue that over the period since the 9th of March, the Capitals have a 3-1 record.  However, the wins and losses — while encouraging — don’t come close to telling the whole story.

Let’s bore down into some of the details of those four games:

  • Three of the four games played since March 9th were against teams below the Capitals in the Eastern Conference standings (Toronto, New York Islanders, and Winnipeg).
  • The Caps were outshot in three of the four games.  In the fourth, the Capitals managed to equal the Islanders’ 23 shot total.
  • Washington has collected almost twice as many penalties as their opponents — 30 penalty minutes for Washington versus 16 for the opposition.
  • Every one of the four teams played in the last week has out-hit Washington — some by dramatic margins.

But even those numbers and statistics don’t explain why people are beginning to wonder if the Capitals even have the heart to make it to the playoffs.  All one has to do is watch the full 60 minutes of any one of Washington’s recent games in order to see reasons to worry.  A number of the Capitals appear to simply be going through the motions.  Not so much, at least in the opinion of this correspondent, the young players.  Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perrault, Dmitry Orlov, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, and others of that experience level are working hard every single shift.  It’s sad, however, that the highest paid ‘stars’ are not.  Watching the Capitals captain simply wave his stick in a half-hearted fashion while on defense is symbolic of what’s been ailing the Capitals all year long.

Bruce Boudreau wasn’t able get the Capitals to stop reading their press clippings and start playing the gritty hockey needed for long-term success.  In the end, it cost him his job.  Thus far, Dale Hunter hasn’t either.

It’s truly disheartening to watch a team with as much talent as the Caps continue to implode.  But, unless every single player begins to play with the intensity and drive of their rookie teammates, the plunge past the bottom playoff position will continue until it’s too late to recover.

Here’s hoping that something will cause the alarm clock to go off in the Capitals locker room — soon!

Let’s Go Caps

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.