Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/18/12

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

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Adrien Broner uses Bruce Jenner zinger after win

ESPN explains reason for Dabo Swinney interview error

Brian Kelly: Kizer made right call on 2-point play

Jim Mora calls UCLA's upcoming schedule 'a complete injustice'

Tommy Tuberville returned to Auburn, lined up at Tiger Walk

WATCH: Arizona State pushes pile 20 yards on TD run


Jim McElwain still won't name Will Grier Florida's starter

Steve Smith has microfractures in back, out for Week 5

Cowboys want Brandon Weeden to attempt longer passes

Nebraska captain tells crowd 'I'm sorry we suck'

Report: Dolphins could fire some coaches if team loses to Jets

Georgia fans get #FireRicht trending on Twitter

Cormier tops Gustafsson at UFC 192

Robert Smith wants Braxton Miller back at QB

WATCH: Clemson, Swinney have locker room dance party

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

WATCH: Dabo Swinney interview awkwardly cut off

Ohio St. LB Darron Lee has message for fans after close win

WATCH: Swedish league player unties opponent's skates

Max Scherzer throws second no-hitter of the season

Ezekiel Elliott jokes he owes his OL a steak dinner

Mike Riley explains questionable pass play on third down

Torey Lovullo would be 'honored' by managerial offers

WATCH: Ohio State stops Indiana on 4th down to win game

McIlroy: Spieth, Day have made me hungry again

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 takeaways from Week 5 of the college football season

Rick Pitino and the shadows that never leave

Chad Johnson ... Steelers kicker?

Flacco deserves more from the Ravens

Time for Neymar's Barcelona

Seth Rollins, WWE depth, Divas and winning

Madison Keys and the future of women’s tennis

Most underrated games in NFL Week 4

What to watch in CFB Week 5

Starter strategies for final, tie-breaker and wild card games

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker