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Posted at 8:14 AM ET, 01/19/2011

A look at the Eastern Conference standings

By Katie Carrera

For a few brief minutes Tuesday night, the Capitals held the third spot in the Eastern Conference. Their point from the 3-2 overtime loss to Philadelphia had temporarily pushed them ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning, whose contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets had not yet concluded.

But while Washington would fall in extra time the Lightning captured two points with a 3-2 shootout win over Columbus. With 35 games remaining in the regular season, the Capitals sit in fifth place with 58 points, seven out of first and eight more than ninth. With each game and point that escapes, though, chances to move up in the standings will grow a little more scarce.

There are still plenty of games to be played, but with a tight race in the conference there's an added premium on obtaining points consistently so that there isn't a race to the finish to reach the postseason.

Here's how things stand in the East after Tuesday's games:

Rank/Team/Record/Points
1. Philadelphia, 30-11-5, 65
2. Boston, 26-13-7, 59
3. Tampa Bay, 27-15-5, 59
4. Pittsburgh, 29-14-4, 62
5. Washington, 25-14-8, 58
6. Montreal, 26-17-4, 56
7. New York Rangers, 26-18-3, 55
8. Atlanta, 23-18-7, 53
-----Playoff eligibility-----
9. Carolina, 22-18-6, 50
10. Florida, 21-20-3, 45
11. Buffalo, 20-20-5, 45
12. Toronto, 18-21-5, 41
13. Ottawa, 17-23-7, 41
14. New York Islanders, 14-23-7, 35
15. New Jersey, 13-29-3, 29

By Katie Carrera  | January 19, 2011; 8:14 AM ET
 
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Comments

Whether this team runs the old system, the new system or something else BB cooks up, it really doesn't matter unless the players execute it properly and play with more intensity from start to finish.

Next time any member of this organization talks about playing 60 minutes of hockey, I'm just gonna puke.

Unless you're actually gonna start doing it, just shut up about it.

Posted by: joek443 | January 19, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Carolina has a game in hand as well so they may only be six points out of 8th position. This team is currently pitiful though, there is no doubt about that.

Posted by: PhilR | January 19, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Lots of comments about firing BB. I'm not there just yet, but getting closer.

I think though, once this team gets completely healthy, then we can fully judge him.

- I think not having Semin and Bradley in the lineup really is hurting us btw Semin's scoring (when he's on) and Bradley's toughness. Add those two to replace Beagle and MP and I think we are a much better team.

- Also, MJ90 is getting better and better each game. Put him as 2C and just leave him there.

Here are lines once everyone is healthy

8-19-22
28-90-21
25-15-16 (or 85 for 15)
26-39-10

Out - 85, 83, 17

Posted by: MattBradley10 | January 19, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Seven points out of first, 8 points out of the playoffs. You're record says what you are.

Posted by: sjshanno | January 19, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

A good measure is points minus games:
Phi +19
Pit +15
Bos +13
TB +12
Was +11
Mon +9
NYR +8
Atl +5
etc

Also, is it not ridiulous that an overtime game creates 3 points (2 for the winner and 1 for the loser), but a 60-minute game is only 2?

A regulation win should be worth 3 points...

Posted by: HankC_57 | January 19, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

If the team played mediocre through the season, but showed flashes of gusto, then you could say they are sleepwalking until the playoffs. However, I don't see that with this team, there is something off. Does anybody really expect this team to go into the playoffs and turn it on? I just haven't seen any signs of that ability. Change is needed and since you can't cut all the players, I think it's time for BB to go. Sorry, he seems like a nice guy, but these Caps need a wake up call.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | January 19, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

hmm..another slow start, another 3rd pd comeback of sorts.

and people wonder why i don't get excited over beating the ottawa senators on home ice.

pfft

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

role players are who are able to set the tone in tough road games. And besides Erskine and Hendricks, our role players are intimidated for the most part when they go into a hostile road game. They just wait around for someone else to pick up the slack and set a tone. You need really strong leadership on a team to be able to start the tough games on a high energetic note. The skill guys will then actually feed off the role players. On this team you just don't have enough of that. You just can't compare our guys to players like Talbot, Kennedy, Asham, Rupp, Adams, Kunitz, and Cooke. They're galaxies apart.

Not enough leaders, too many followers, powderpuff role players for the most part.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I Agree %1000 with Hank C. I NEVER UNDERSTAND what Gary Bettman is doing. Why the F is there 2 points for reg victory and then create a freakin mystery point for OT victories? he and the NHL are really STUPID about this. Be like the English Premier Leagues. 3 points for Victories, 1 each for OT and 1 remaining to the victor. That makes too much sense for Bettman and Stupid NHL.

GO CAPS...

Posted by: doeshin | January 19, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Relax, people. We're still the top team in the Eastern Conference. I fully expect us to walk out with a #1 seed.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 19, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

1. Philadelphia, 30-11-5, 65
2. Boston, 26-13-7, 59
3. Tampa Bay, 27-15-5, 59
4. Pittsburgh, 29-14-4, 62
5. Washington, 25-14-8, 58
6. Montreal, 26-17-4, 56
7. New York Rangers, 26-18-3, 55
8. Atlanta, 23-18-7, 53
------------------------

If I had to bet the way things currently stand, the only 2 teams we have a better than 50-50 chance of beating are Montreal and Tampa. I say we lose to Atlanta. And we lose more drastically (i.e. in 6) to Boston, NY, Phi, and Pitt.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

By "pitiful" I assume you mean...pityDaFool dat has to play dem Caps come playoffs, sucka (in a Mr. T voice). The boys will come around, of course GMGM could expedite this by getting us a legit 2C, using one of those free Lasik give aways in the last 2 minutes on Ovie, giving half our roster bionic groins, and keeping Esskay eating hot dogs in chocolate town. But thats just my opinion.

Also, DJK definitely sealed his scratching for another 10-15 games imo. Everytime he fights just to fight, he signs his walking papers.

And ChimChim...really man? Even I could have burried his chances from Ovie and the other from Backstrom. Hmm, where was he born? If I had to guess, it would be Boulder, CO...with hands of such stone.

Oh, and I really hope Snoopy stays up with the boys (Beagle) as I really really love my new cheer for him during games. Granted it annoys about %85 of the people around, but man do I find it funny. And yes, it is just me baying like a beagle that has treed a squirrel, but I can totally see it catching on. Just like the Ruutu whistle.

Oh, and I for one thought our PP look pretty darn nice when they moved Ovie in front of the net against Ottawa. Granted we only got 2 chances (going 1 for 2), but got LOTS of quality chances on both. (And yes, this is older news, but I havent been on here since Friday...so deal with it.) =)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 19, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

and when i say better than a 50/50, i mean just a hair better. Any team we do play in the 1st round that we end up beating will take us the full 7 games.

Now if our genius GM pulls a trade that gets us Fisher and Neil that ends up replacing MP and Chimmy in the lineup, and Poti gets dumped, and Bradley takes over Gordo's spot, and we still pull off a trade for another dman like Regehr and dump Schultz. Now we're talking improvment. That's a playoff type roster on paper even.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

getjiggly2 -
Is that sarcasm?

Posted by: j3rockstar | January 19, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Next time any member of this organization talks about playing 60 minutes of hockey, I'm just gonna puke.

--joe--


i suggest sleeping by the porcelain god then. Because I predict they will mention that phrase another dozen times. Just like they did last season. Having a great reg season record retarded that team's overall progress because the record masked the team's inherent deficiencies. And McPhee was able to point to "5 bad days" as an excuse for the playoff loss.

Posted by: cstanton1 | January 19, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

It's time to gut the team from the top on down. They are all a bunch of losers(what have any of them ever won?). Get rid of GMGM, BB, all the assistants, coaches in the minors, scouts, training staff, etc. Then get rid of the players, almost all of them(possibly keep Hendricks and Bradley).

The rest of the team has no heart and are not winners(Hendricks and Bradley aren't winners either though). After stockpiling draft picks and prospects, whom the new GM obtains, a new rebuild can begin. They need to start building this team with gritty players who have heart and are winners. Players like Brooks Orpik and Max Talbot.

It will take at least another 3 years, but what is the point of waiting as this team has zero chance of ever winning a SC.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

cstanton1:

I think we would beat Atlanta. We played them mostly before we turned more defensive so I think we could shut them down enough to win. I am also not too concerned with NY. The others would be more of a challenge unless we change a bit.

I am not a GMGM hater like a lot of people, but I am watching NHL on the Fly and they have a Philly guy on there saying how the Flyers are looking for one more blockbuster trade. Imagine, a team up against the cap and in 1st place looking to upgrade.

Either GMGM is not seeing what is happening around him, he can't get any trade partners and/or he is not wearing his intentions on his sleeve like Philly does.

I can't believe I am saying this, but the team needs scoring, quickly.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | January 19, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I just don't see this team being in a position now where even a few trades could be expected to significantly improve the situation. The problems seem to run deeper than that and involves the core of the team. I certainly don't see them giving up prospects and draft picks if there is going to be a need for a significant rebuild after the end of the season. I think that just looking at the current standards is misleading - it is important to look at the trend, which is downward. They managed to get a point last night, but they were significantly outplayed IMO. The "time of possession" had to be about 40-20 minutes.

Posted by: zmega | January 19, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Would assume Holtby will be called up today? And no healthy scratches yesterday, think they'll bring anyone else up for insurance purposes, especially given the number of injuries we're accumulating....?

Posted by: RedRedRed | January 19, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

sgm, your new shtick is even worse than your old shtick. Go back to posting a bunch of meaningless stats that no one cares about, you aren't even showing good commitment to this new act, you're just posting the same thing over and over again desperate for attention.

We get it.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Oops - "involve" and "standings".

Posted by: zmega | January 19, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Whats the percentage BB is fired before the year is over (or shortly after their first round bounce from the Playoffs)

I say 40% before the year and 85% if they get knocked out of the playoffs in the 1st round.

Posted by: CheyenneWY | January 19, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

@Cheyenne,

Absent an epic slide of some sort that knocks us out of the playoffs, I just don't see it happening in-season. After our first (or second) round knock out, I still think it's only 50/50 for BB. Who knows what excuse they'll come up with for this year's early playoff bow-out? Perhaps injuries, perhaps yet another "hot goalie," who knows?

Even then, do you really trust GMGM to hire the coach this team needs? I have even less faith in Ted giving GMGM the boot. For some reason he really thinks that guy knows what he's doing.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

how was King's fight last night just a "fight for the hell of it"? Down by one already, playing like crap, and add the fact that we never play well in the 1st....he's trying to pump up the team

Posted by: _stevo | January 19, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

you're just posting the same thing over and over again desperate for attention.

We get it.

Posted by: VTDuffman

How is that any different than most of the posters on here?

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Fifth place would not be a good position for the Caps at the end of the regular season. If things hold to form, Philly and Pittsburgh are likely to be 1-2 in the Eastern Conference. The specific order doesn't matter as the Caps would have to play a team with the second-best conference record, either one they have a poor playoff record against, and one that would have the home-ice advantage over them. Of course, things could change significantly prior to the end of the regular season, but another one-and-done playoff run seems to be on the horizon.

Posted by: braunt | January 19, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"How is that any different than most of the posters on here?"

---

You're literally copying and pasting.

You're really getting into BigGameSid territory with this new fake "gut the team" thing. Simply not posting anything worth replying to.

Again, and I can't stress this enough - we get it.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@braunt

philly and pittsburgh can't finish 1-2 in the conference since they are in the same division

Posted by: _stevo | January 19, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

How are the caps going to do well in the playoffs when they have steadily gotten worse as season has progressed? At this rate they wont even make the playoffs.

Posted by: alling | January 19, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The Caps are saving it for the playoffs...they will reign down fury on all who challenge when it matters.

Posted by: SA-Town | January 19, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Fire BB!!! Fire GMGM!!! Get rid of all the players and start over with some guys who have grit and heart!!!!

The rebuild must start NOW!!!!

@VTDuffman

There, is that good enough for you?

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Do whatever you want, man.

I'm just saying that you're making yourself look silly and childish. If you don't care, then that's your prerogative.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I'll entertain the notion of firing boudreau now for a minute... who do you want to replace him that is available?

Evason/Woods would probably be "more of the same" to the Fire Boudreau crowd.

Iron Mike won a cup in 1994, but hasn't held a team together since.

Ted Nolan is the coaching equivalent of Ovechkin's broken sticks.

Posted by: GFisher1 | January 19, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

@VTDuffman

I'm just expressing how I feel and it would seem that I now fall in the majority. So I find it strange that you choose to single me out.

Aren't you happy that I am now convinced it is time to blow up the Caps and start over?

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

While watching the game last night, I noticed the name of the Flyers' venue has changed once again. Jeez, the thing has had five names in the 15 years it's been in existence. It was originally known as the Spectrum II until the naming rights were sold and it was re-christened the CoreStates Center. Then it was the First Union Center; after that, the Wachovia Center; and now the Wells Fargo Center.

The nickname for the Verizon Center, which had its own name change from the original MCI Center, is the Phone Booth. I'm trying to figure out a catchy nickname for the Philly stadium so I won't have to keep up with all the name changes. I kinda liked it when it was known as the First Union Center becuase you could abbreviate it as the FU Center -- something appropriate for the City of Brotherly Love!

Posted by: braunt | January 19, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I think we will eventually overtake TB for 3rd and possibly 2nd, but if not, I would rather be in 6th than 5th as I have no interest in Philly or Pitt in round 1.

Anyone know what specifically is wrong with Semin? I was at the game he got hurt and thought he just got hit in the thigh and it was maybe a bad bruise. He was still sitting on the bench after getting hurt which is why I didn't think it was this bad.

Posted by: MattBradley10 | January 19, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I'll entertain the notion of firing boudreau now for a minute... who do you want to replace him that is available?

Evason/Woods would probably be "more of the same" to the Fire Boudreau crowd.

Iron Mike won a cup in 1994, but hasn't held a team together since.

Ted Nolan is the coaching equivalent of Ovechkin's broken sticks.

Posted by: GFisher1

They need to get somebody outside of the organization. Nothing will turn around the team for this year.

They need to hire a coach who they see will be the long term solution. That coach may not be available until the offseason though(if it is a good assistant).

If he is let go by the Sabres I would suggest picking up Lindy Ruff. He is highly thought of in the coaching community as he was an assitant coach on team Canada in 2010. He also preaches grit and hard work. His teams usually overachieve.

Posted by: sgm3 | January 19, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

looks like both neuvy and varly now day to day lower body...

Posted by: samb99 | January 19, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"I'm just expressing how I feel and it would seem that I now fall in the majority. So I find it strange that you choose to single me out.

Aren't you happy that I am now convinced it is time to blow up the Caps and start over?"

---

If you honestly think that the majority of people here think that the answer involves firing everybody and rebuilding the entire, then you have very poor reading comprehension skills.

But you don't honestly think that. You know exactly what you're doing - and it's taking every "opposition" viewpoint to yours, conflating them all into a single viewpoint, and then exaggerating that viewpoint in an effort to mock everyone who disagrees with you.

It's childish, and sad, like I said. Also, like I said - "We get it."

If you want, we can get into one of those "It's not your fault" situations like from the Movie "Good Will Hunting."

sgm, It's not your fault.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@stevo

You're right, I should have been clearer. What I meant was that Philly-Pitts could finish with the top two point totals in the conference, which would put one of them in the top spot and the other in the number 4 slot -- opposing a fifth-place Caps team in the first round of the playoffs. Not a good thing for the Caps, as I stated in my original post, based on their previous playoff histories.

Posted by: braunt | January 19, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton

im liking yor thinking.. that would be a nasty line up to face...

Posted by: bigBinMd | January 19, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

More proof that the Crosby-Steckle hit was Crosby's fault...just look at how they drive in Pittsburgh. Skate with your head down, drive with your head up your a$$...same difference. =)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | January 19, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know what specifically is wrong with Semin? - MattBradley10

MB, I don't think we have a psychiatrist on staff here at CI.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. I actually am a fan of Semin.

Posted by: zmega | January 19, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"Then it was the First Union Center; after that, the Wachovia Center; and now the Wells Fargo Center."

---

It's one of the dangers of selling your naming rights to a company in a field that goes through acquisitions as much as banking does. First Union was bought by Wachovia who was bought by Wells Fargo, that's why the name has changed so many times.

If they wanted to give it a nickname similar to ours, they should just call it "The Bank," that would cover any future mergers.

Posted by: VTDuffman | January 19, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

If they can't get their special teams play and a consistent 5 on 5 effort working, this team's not going to get very far in the playoffs. And my not even make the playoffs. They had a soild start to the season but have really dropped off while other teams have picked it up. If not for doing very well for the first month, they'd be out of the playoff picture right now. With half a season to go and only a few games ahead of the 9th place team, that's not the direction you want to be heading.

Posted by: Stu_c | January 19, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Caps should make a move for Dustin Penner, 14G 15A on a horrible Edmonton team.. Talk about a monster 6-4 240 lbs.. He is the type of guy that will crash the net and get the nasty goals.. Something we lack.. He will be a UFA after the 2012 season with a caps hit of 4.25 next year..

Posted by: CapsBaby | January 19, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Why is it that we have two young talented goalies, who are/should be in their prime physically being in their early 20s, who are CONSTANTLY suffering "lower body injuries/groin strains"???? Who in the hell is training these guys? It would seem to me that the most common injury a goalie needs to guard against, i.e. train to overcome, is the groin strain, given the positions and contortions a goalie puts himself in during a game. Why then are these two young goalies not getting the kind of preventive training and conditioning (stretching, PT, deep tissue massage) that they obviously need? I dont see other goalies around the league, some playing far more minutes than these two split, going down repeatedly year in and year out with these same injuries. It is not rocket science.

Posted by: opticlguy | January 19, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

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