Tag Archives: Playoffs

The difference between going 2-2 and 3-1

8 May

After Monday’s disappointing loss, the Caps take to the ice in MSG again to either take the decisive lead or split it down the middle.

The importance of game 4? Huge. If the Caps had won Monday night, they could take the series tonight. Since they didn’t, they have the ability to take a 3 game lead which could very easily lead to a series win in 5 games. If they lose tonight, the Rangers and Caps will be tied at 2 a piece,  forcing the series to go to at least a game 6.

Clearly, this game will be one of the most if not the most important game of the series. It decides who has the edge, especially with Washington returning to home turf after tonight, as well as how long the series will be which can become the difference between a team rested up and prepared for the second round or a team that’s had barely enough time to turn around.

The Caps holding ht series lead at 2-1 clearly show the Rangers only real threat over the Caps is Lundvquist. He’s come up big for the Rangers and there’s no doubt he will tonight. But with Staal back, the Caps can expect a little more coming from the Rangers lackluster defense. Otherwise, this game should be in the books for the Caps if they can stay focused and don’t get too comfortable with any lead. It is the Playoffs, after all.

Hopefully, the Caps will take New York seriously tonight to secure the win and the series lead. If not, it’s any team’s series.

The Caps take on the Bruins for their last regular season game

27 Apr

Tonight marks the last regular season game before they take on one of four teams in the first round of the Playoffs. Traditionally, when your team’s in, big players usually sit out or don’t play hard to save themselves for the Playoffs, where it really matters. With the Caps on such a hot streak, completely sending the game down the crapper wouldn’t help with their groove.Especially with the fact the Bruins still haven’t locked their spot in. Meaning, the Caps could have significant influence in where they land. The Caps don’t need to treat this game like the game against the Jets, but wining this game would have it’s advantages.

If the Caps win, hey’ll enter the Playoffs off a win which could likely give them a confidence boost. Another positive to a W is the fact that where Boston lands also affects who the Caps play. Personally speaking; the Caps playing the Islanders or Senators isn’t nearly as appealing as them playing the Leafs or Rangers, in terms of likely hood to make it to the second round.

Who would you like to see the Caps play?

Caps are in the Playoffs…for now

11 Apr

If you’ve been following the Caps these season, you know all to well the uphill battle they’re fighting to get enough points to get in the Playoff race. Let me back up a little and explain how the playoffs are organized and all this point business.

In the NHL, you get two points for winning a game. Pretty simple, right? Well, if your team goes to overtime (also referred to as OT) because you’re tied both teams are awarded one point and the team that wins gets another point effectively winning two points.

Now, there are two divisions in the NHL; the Eastern division nnd the Western division. These are divided into multiple divisions, which I won’t get into because it can get a little confusing, but eight teams per division make the Playoffs.

This is due to the accumulation of points. the top three teams per division are ranked in the top three (that’s a good thing because you play inter-divsion until the Finals and it goes one-eight, two-seven, three-six, and so on) so if you win your division you’re assured a Playoff spot.

Luckily for the Caps, they play in the worst division in the league. While they may have less points than the team in eight, they have more points than anyone in their division therefore effectively making the Playoffs in a good place. That make sense?

As I was saying before, the Caps have been fighting an uphill battle to make the Playoffs this year. But they’ve been fortunate to be placed in a division with the likes of the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes, making them the winners (so far!) but there are two weeks left int he season meaning the Caps have enough time to screw things up royally with teams like Lightening, Bruins, Senators, and Canadiens coming up.

If they go on a tail spin like they were on much of this season, the Jets (who are only two points or one game away from them in the standings) could easily win the division and effectively make the Playoffs. With things so close in the Eastern Conference, there’s no way the Caps can make the Playoffs except by winning their division.

 

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That being said, the Caps “top guns” have finally been showing up and producing like they’re paid to do. Ovi? He’s the gold star of the week on NHL Net. And for good reason, he’s had 7 goals in the past three games! He, really the whole team, have been showing they’re serious business this season. Let’s hope they can keep it up. Once you make the Playoffs, anything can happen! The LA Kings are prime examples being the first team int he eighth spot in the Playoffs to win a Cup.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over…it’s over

12 May

For someone with usually so much to say. I’m speechless. Did that really just happen? Did the Caps really just lose in the second round? I just…don’t know what to say. I “should” be used to this bull crap. But I’m not. Who could be? It’s your team that you watched the entire year (except the games you missed because you were throwing your shoes at walls, but still) and now…they’re out.

The game. What is there to say? we lost 2-1 because the guys just couldn’t get the puck on net and the goalie who shall not be made was apparently mad eof steel. Caps, you played hard. I know you guys really worked your tushies off and I’m not angry. Just sad. Thanks for all your hard work this Playoff series. It was a tough loss, but I’ll always rock the red.

To all the people who read this (all less than 10 of you!) thanks for reading and all the support, you’re really helping me realize my dream of (hopefully) becoming a sports journalist one day. Thanks a lot and I hope you come back next season.

Au revoir.

CAN YOU HEAR US?! Oh, wait…that was last season

5 May

The Caps are actually playing…well. In the second round. Yes, this is for realz. Crazy business, I tell you! Even though I’m not Hunters biggest fan (he takes a bit to warm up to), he has really proven his style of play in the post season. And I must say, I’m most impressed.

If you’ll remember last year during the playoffs, game 4 ended in tears #IsItOctoberYet? hashtags, and much gnashing of teeth from Caps fans as the Lightning, of all teams, very well butchered the Caps in 4 games.

A memory the Caps hoped to erase today winning game 4 against the Broadway Blueshirts tying the series at 2 a piece. Considering New York got 1st in the East this season and the Caps got 7th (talk about role reversals, eh?), this has been a good series.

There have been some ups and downs, game 1 was a bit of a bummer, late nights, I’ll take a 3 OT and a Pepsi, please. These teams seem to favor multi-OT games, remember the “Chimeracle on 34th St.”? And, of course, some awesomesocks goalie matchups. Can you believe the Caps “rookie” goalie is the only goalie in the Eastern Conferance Playoffs to have not lost two games in a row? Yeah,  me either.

It isn’t just Braden “brick wall” Holtby leading the Caps to victory, but the other players have really stepped up. The defense is more present and in the zone helping ward off goal-hungry Rangers with the puck and the offense has done a great job of pressing the attack and putting shots on net, which lead to goals.

Good win today boys (and thank the hockey gods you guys kept in regulation), just keep doing what you’re doing and you never know, you could be invited to the White House this summer.

PS- Go check out @TheDugsSports blog (http://capsbasketball.blogspot.com/)It’s a great Caps blog and I write pregames for him.

IT’S PLAYOFF TIME!!

9 Apr

THE PLAYOFFS ARE HERE PEOPLE!! THE CAPS ARE FACING THE BROADWAY BLUESHIRTS IN HOPES OF A RE-Wait, what? The Caps are playing the Bruins? Mushrooms…*gulp* well, as I was saying, the Caps are in the Playoffs! The day I never thought would happen is! *happy dance* Ok, let’s get down to business, folks.

The question is; who are these skating bumble bees and what do they want from us?

These bumblers go by the name of the Boston Bruins, residing in a place they call TD Garden named after the bank promoted by that really annoying guy. They dress in gold and black, bearing the resemblance of bumble bees. But they’re named after bears (wait,what?).

picturesdepot.com

I is bumble bee and bear!

They have the likes of Chara, Marchand, Seguin, Lucic, and Thomas in between the pipes heading their tough as nails ’11 Cup champs. Am I the only one who’s afeared of these skating fashion disasters? (granted, not as bad as Philly or Nashville, but still)

Let us have faith, red nation, the Caps won their series against Boston in the regular season. Granted, the Caps are notorious for kicking ass in the regular season and rolling over dead in the Playoffs, but maybe going backwards (kinda) will result in a shiny, silver thing.

What can we expect Thursday? I have no freaking idea. I’m not a psychic, I can’t even remember tomorrow’s forecast. Let’s just hope it involves some major Bruins tushy kicking.

 

The Alabama Shakes don’t like hockey

7 Apr

Yes, I am blaming my favorite Bluesy rock band for me missing the game. IT’S ALL THEIR FAULT THEY SCHEDULED THEIR AWESOMESOCKS CONCERT THE LAST DAY OF THE REGULAR SEASON!

I’m super excited to go (I won’t sing along to every song this time, dad),  but I’m missing RMNB’s viewing party of epic proportions and the Caps game. thank Pronger for DVR’s.

Who saw the Caps not lose thursday?! Me too! Well, sorta…I watched the last half of the game. But they’re going to the Playoffs AND playing the Rangers! The only team the Caps can beat! (Rangers fans love me, guys) Unless something stupid with points happens. In which case, they’ll be playing the Devils *gulp* or the Bruins *GULP* with the possibility of another random team I can’t remember *mini gulp*.

So, YAY! The Caps are in the Playoffs so I can grace the world with my loverly Playoff Beard. Let’s do this, guys!

For all you uncultured neanderthals, the Alabama Shakes:

http://www.youtube.com/user/alabamashakes?v=Le-3MIBxQTw

I dont’ kow how to “embed” stuff, ok? Is their a Blogging for Dummy’s book out there?

The trade-less deadline

3 Mar

Yeah, yeah the deadline was monday of what week I don’t recall (umm, last week?). Regardless, the Caps did diddly squat. Which, frankly, surprised me. The Caps are a team with a good core of young, talented players so they don’t really need to do an overhaul (well, yet anyways). I get that, but getting rid of players who haven’t really contributed much so far this season in terms of scoring or defense (ahem, you know who I’m looking at) for guys who actually play worth half a twinkie would’ve been a smart move.

Who is worth it?

I know McPhee said he didn’t want any “rentals”, but rentals can turn into buys if you like the way the guy plays and what he contributes. Not to mention guys who are usually rentals ask for much less (Scott Hannan, anyone?) and are usually pretty solid (See; pretty much anyone we got before the deadline last year).

As far as the right deal not being out there, to put this nicely, Roman Hamrlik for anyone (or anything) would’ve been a great deal. And I’m pretty sure Ward for a few picks or grinders would’ve worked (considering that seems to be the style of play Hunter’s enacting).

Over all, I’m not bemused. Backstrom probably won’t be back in time for a lasting impact trying to get in the Playoffs or, if they’re lucky enough to get in, actually make it past the first round. Center depth isn’t their only problem either.

As I’ve been saying all year, the Caps need stronger defense. I was really hoping the deadline would bear some fruit in form of competent defensive defensemen. Sadly, Mcphee didn’t see the need to pounce on any of the eligible dfefensemen.

In the end, though, GMGM is the General Manager for a reason. He knows what he’s doing, well, I hope so at any rate, and hopefully his caution bears fruit in form of a Playoff appearance this season. Until then, we’ll just have to play the waiting game.

The Caps are on the outside looking in

19 Feb

Academic suspension over! Let’s talk some Caps hockey…or lack thereof. The Caps are, at this moment, 2 points out of first place in the Southeast Division (which also happens to be the weakest division in the NHL) and 1 point out of the Playoffs.

No big deal, right? WRONG. The Caps are here for a reason, not because the Sens have about faced and become the ’83-’84 Oilers in all their glory, but because the Caps have a Coach unwilling to change his style of Coaching to adhere to the type of talent he has.

Let’s look at the facts; 2 years ago, with the same core players, the Caps won the President Trophy. There is no way the same basic team, yes they have had changes, but they’re pretty minor, should go from winning the Presidents Trophy to a team that’s out of a Playoff spot and in serious doubt of making it.

Simply put, Dale Hunter isn’t putting the enormous talent he has to good use. Yes, Backstrom’s been out for over a month and Green just came back, but he still has Ovechkin, Wideman, Semin, Laich and plenty more. Just with those players this team shouldn’t be struggling to put up one or two goals a night with less than 30 shots on goal. Guys, you have to shoot to score and score to win.

You can’t just dump ‘n’ chase while poorly protecting your own end in hopes of scoring (I’m looking at you, Hamrlik. Don’t give me that offensive D bull). That’s not how it works or how it ever did. Dale Hunter was a great player and a good Junior Coach, but his system doesn’t work for the Caps.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, unless the Caps start consistently showing up with effort and hopefully with a new style of play, they aren’t going to make the Playoffs this year. This is a make it or break it season for the Caps, and from the looks of things, it looks like a bust for Washington.

Hey Caps, there’s a game going on…

18 Dec

The Caps are about as consistent as my cooking skills, so not very. They looked like everything was going great and they were turning around their disappointing play of late,last game against the Jets.

Then the Caps decided playing well and winning was no fun, so they reverted to their old form. Old form meaning barely their defense, heart lacking more than the tin mans, and sloppy offense.

I don’t get what these guys are trying to do, or not do it seems. They have a star-studded offense (and defense) capable of putting up huge numbers, but they’re playing like they’re lost and don’t know what they’re doing. They certainly can’t be “saving themselves” for the Playoffs, because the way they’re playing, they might not make it.

I get that they just got a new Coach and are adjusting to a new style of play, but no Coach wants a little over 20 shots on goal in a game. Not to mention the frequent defensive lapses. If a player hardly ever makes a good play and is near invisible 90% of the time, shouldn’t you bench him instead of a guy who isn’t as much of a defensive liability? Take notes, Hammrlick.

I just don’t get it, they have the ability to be winning the majority of the games they lose, that’s no secret. What is would be how they’re playing, they just act like they don ‘t give a crap a majority of the time. Hopefully Hunter can figure it out and turn it around, they’re screwed if he doesn’t.

To quote the veteran winger Mike Knuble, “Playoffs? What Playoffs?”

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