The Capitals are not elite
In last night’s recap of the Flyers game on Japers Rink, the author mentioned that “if there's one thing this game showed, it's that the Caps as a team are not among the elite right now,” and I for one, could not agree more. The Capitals aren’t elite right now by any stretch. And I’m perfectly okay with that.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. The Capitals should not be playing their best hockey right now, and it would bother me more if they were. From my angle, it seems that a lot of their problems lately have had to do with bad luck. Things like the puck stopping on Alex Ovechkin in Tampa, or Mike Green trying to do his best Pete Peeters imitation last night, or Ovi breaking roughly 250,000 different hockey sticks in the same game. Hell, even last night’s goals weren’t easy. Marcus Johansson’s shot hit the post and just stopped there waiting for Sergei Bobrovsky to cover up before Mike Knuble put it home, and Alex Ovechkin’s tying goal came perilously close to being called off.
I have to believe, though, that all these things will even out. Much like when Jerry was known as “Even Steven” on Seinfeld, the Caps will eventually throw a $20 bill out the window and then find another one in their coat pocket. Ovi will not keep shooting 7.6 percent. Nick Backstrom and Alexander Semin will score goals again despite both going through a longer scoring drought than A.C. Green.
Last night, the Caps were down 2-0 after two to a team that almost never loses (24-1-2) when leading after two. They gutted out two goals in the third period and gained a point they had no business getting. That type of character will pay off in April and May. It doesn’t matter if they “struggle” to get into the playoffs as long as they get there (which they will), because wacky things happen in the playoffs.
A few more notes:
- I may be crazy, but I’m not really “convinced” by the Flyers. They’re unquestionably deep and talented, but they play in a terrible division with the two worst teams in the NHL, a mediocre Rangers team, and the Pens (who I believe are better, at least when Sid is healthy). I’m not really sold yet on Sergei Bobrovsky either, even though he looked really good at times last night. I still think they go out early in April.
- Michal Neuvirth must have a pretty fragile constitution if he’s getting sick all the time. At least I hope it’s something simple like that and not a significant injury. He still went down way too early on the Jeff Carter goal, though.
- DJ King. Yikes.
- Marcus Johansson has been one of the best, if not the best, forward on the ice the Caps have had the last couple of weeks. Of course, that hasn’t stopped some from suggesting he be sent to the A. Mind boggling.
| January 19, 2011; 1:19 PM ET
Categories: Capitals, Ryan Cooper | Tags: Capitals, Ryan Cooper
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