Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trying to break a 1974-1975 Caps record

I officially hate the players, the coaches and the GM of this Washington Capitals team right now.  The Caps didn't show up last night again and lost in embarrassing fashion 6-0 to the New York Rangers again (gee, one less goal than the 7-0 debacle the last time they played the Rangers). It was the 9th time the Caps were shutout this season. The 1974-1975 Caps were shutout 12 times and won only 8 games - great team to emulate, huh?

There are no valid excuses for this team's abysmal play and continual lack of effort.  We, your fans, at least, deserve effort when you're on the ice.  With the exception of Alex Ovechkin and Michal Neurvirth last night there was very little effort and that has happened far too often this season. I'm also tired of hearing the same old bullshit comments that continue to spew forth from the players, the coaches, the GM and the owner because it's all empty talk so, please, just stop talking.

The Caps play the New York Islanders tonight.  Sigh, it's not even enjoyable to watch anymore.

Let's go Caps!

p.s. Mercedes advertising people, please wake up.  If you're so clueless as to think that cup holder commercial is a hit with Caps fans, let me open your eyes.  You've pretty much guaranteed I'll never buy a Mercedes as that commercial is like rubbing salt in an open wound to long-time Caps fans.  Ugh.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Neuvy & Brad's - heros from yesterday - and other thoughts

Michal Neuvirth gave the Caps the chance to earn two points against the Pittsburgh Penguins by making 18 saves in the first period, including some highlight reel saves.  That period the Caps mustered a measly 7 shots on goals as they were outworked by the Wilkes-Barrie AHL baby Pen call ups in the first period.  

Fan favorite, Matt Bradley, got the Caps going in the second period and fans hailed Brads as the hero of the night.  He caught Matt Cooke, he of the slimy dirty hits like the knee-on-knee on Ovechkin in their last game, with his head down and slammed him into the boards.  The refs called Brads for charging on what several of the broadcasters thought was a clean hit, but Jordan Staal also took a roughing penalty for going after Brads so no harm done and the Caps picked their game up after that.

Alex Ovechkin provided the only goal on a power play (shocker!) with a rocket shot that Marc-Andre Fleury had no chance to stop.  Ovie seems to be finding his game finally as he's netted 9 goals and 8 assists in his last 15 games.  He still needs to improve his defensive play and he needs to stop doing his signature move up the middle around the defenseman to try and score.  Everyone knows what he's doing so he needs to change it up, but I'm more hopeful than I've been in a long time about his play.

The Caps survived their five game road trip with a 3-2 record, dropping two to the West's San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes and winning a wild 7-6 one against the Anaheim Ducks in between and then wrapping up their trip back East by beating the Buffalo Sabres and Penguins.  

I still don't want to think about this team this season.  Scanning my blog posts illustrates the roller coaster ride this team has been on this season.  At this point, they've improved and it's clear they're trying to play better defensively and they're scoring more even on the power play but, it's the little things that drive me crazy that the Caps don't execute well.  You know, those little things like hustling and sacrificing the body that win Stanley Cups more than offensive prowess.  They let the AHL call ups outwork them for the first twenty minutes in their win last night then they picked it up in the 2nd and 3rd periods and played much better defensive hockey to preserve the 1-0 lead.  But, they haven't been a first place team in a while so they need to hustle for sixty minutes every night.

The New York Rangers visit the phone booth on Friday.

Let's go Caps!

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Two Good Games in a Row, Wow

I didn't watch the game on Friday, but I did hear the last ten minutes on the radio.  After listening to that, reading the hockey news and the Caps message boards, it's clear that the Caps came to play against the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Nice to hear Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom racking up points with Jason Chimera on their line.  I watched Sunday's 3-0 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins and both these games were great efforts by the Caps.

Does that mean there is hope for this team in April?  I've got to see a consistent effort for many more games before I'll believe that.  I get that the Caps have been implementing a new defensively responsible system these last twenty games (that time period started with a win against Ottawa at the end of the eight game losing streak in December).  They've won 50% of those games with a 1.7 goals against per game.  The goals against is astounding for a team that has played run and gun offense for the past several years and last year had a 2.77 GA/G.

However, implementing that new system doesn't excuse lack of effort which is still evident all too often with this team. The game a week ago against Montreal when the Caps went up 2-0 and then sat back until they lost the game in a shootout is a perfect example of how that lack of effort creeps in with this team.  The players, like Scott Hannan, said the same thing.

So, when and where will this team finds its consistent killer instinct?  In April?  I can only hope.

Let's go Caps!

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Friday, February 04, 2011

Oh, yeah, I can't watch Caps tonight

Instead of getting pissed off at the lackadaisical play of the Washington Capitals, I'll be enjoying a nice dinner with some friends. I have no doubt that by the time I get home Tampa Bay will have shellacked the Caps. Amazing, the team that has Steve Yzerman as its GM will probably win another Stanley Cup before the Caps win their first one.

Here's hoping I can somehow get face value for my remaining tickets this year because I'm not going to care again until the Caps care again and that won't happen until there are major changes in this organization. Instead, I'm looking forward to, hopefully, recouping some of my money because I'm not going to waste it on this pathetic team.

Many could argue, rightfully so, that I'd shut up if I didn't care anymore. Point taken. But, I write because I can't believe the disaster this team has become and it's not due to a lack of talent, just a lack of heart.  With the organization as it is today, I don't expect any Washington team to hoist a Stanley Cup in my lifetime. Sad, really, after all the enthusiasm I had for the arrival of Alexander Ovechkin.

My husband-like boyfriend (yes, I edited that as it originally said boyfriend-like husband!), Jeff, and I talked during the game the other night about how we're not even excited to see Ovie on the ice anymore. I never thought I'd see that day arrive and I'm depressed about it, but it's where I am. He's not doing anything on the ice to cheer about and neither is Nicklas Backstrom or Brooks Laich or Mike Knuble or Eric Fehr and the list goes on and on.

The game's a sellout tonight in Tampa, Caps team, so they'll be pumped for this game.  If you care, you'll be pumped, too, and show it, but I'm not holding my breath.

Let's go Caps!

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Watching Caps hockey - a big meh

The Caps are surprisingly up 2-0 on the Montreal Canadiens as I type this, but I still can't stir up any excitement for Caps hockey right now. They even netted a pretty power play goal on a pretty move and pass by Mike Green to Mike Knuble. However, the 19th ranked power play comes away empty handed way too often.

I probably can't stir up any excitement for Caps hockey because they are now returning to form and sucking it up in the second period after ending the first period up 2-0, an unusual occurrence of late. In typical fashion though, the Caps are easing back on the gas since they have a lead. They start gliding around, playing lazily, overpassing and not finishing their checks. Sigh. I'm tired of the lack of effort from this team. It does not bode well for the rest of this season.

The recent NHL Players Association Players Poll called the Caps the most overrated team in the NHL by a enormous margin. 35% of the players voted the Caps for first place and the 2nd place Vancouver Canucks only got 14% of the players. I have to agree, right now, they do not have what it takes to win a Cup.

The other two questions with interesting results from that players poll are that Bruce Boudreau is the easiest coach to play for with 21% of the vote and yet he doesn't appear on the top 5 coaches players want to play for list. What that confirms for me is that Boudreau doesn't hold this team accountable enough and, even worse, doesn't know how to get this team to the next level. I say that because I believe that players want to win and they want to play for a coach that knows how to win.

This team will go nowhere until they learn to live by the words of Herb Brooks, "You can't win on talent alone." This team is way more talented than that Miracle on Ice team, but that quote still applies to any team with aspirations to win the Stanley Cup. It takes heart, grit, effort and also talent. I don't see heart, grit or effort from this Caps team on most nights this season.

Montreal has now tied the game. Like I said, a big meh.

Update: the Caps managed to lose yet another game after having a lead and yet another game in overtime - they lead the league in that statistic. Clearly, there are not enough players on that team that give a damn anymore.

Let's go Caps!

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