Tag Archives: Prediction

Caps vs. Leafs; round 2

5 Feb

Tonight the Caps take on the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second time on this shortened season. The last match up between these two was a doosey with the Caps losing 3-2. While they gained momentum with an early lead via Joel Ward, they were unable to keep the pressure for the full game which the Leafs capitalized on earning them two points in the standings. While the Leafshave great young talent, the Caps inability to play a full game is what’s plagued them throughout the start of this shortened season and has cost them many games in the third (think Ottawa and New Jersey).

Playing a full game is vital if the Caps want to amount to anything and even make the Playoffs, which is seeming less and less likely with each passing game. To even have a chance at winning this game, the Caps have to be able to keep offensive pressure on the Leafs and get pucks in front of the net, one’s gonna tickle the twine sometime.

This boils down to individual player responsibility. the so touted “big guns” need to actually show up. Ovechkin? He has half as many goals as Joel Ward and his points aren’t anything to talk about either. Backstrom? Other than the game against Philly, he’s been pretty invisible with only a handful of assists and points. I think I’ve made my point.

If the Caps want to be a true Cup contender or even a team that’s halfway decent, everyone needs to come out and play every shift, every game. Let’s hope they can pull it together tonight in the Phone Booth and secure another W in the standings.

What the Caps are missing…

14 Dec

To quote the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz (those summers spent watching the Wizard of Oz while eating mint chocolate chip ice cream were the best) “When a mans an empty kettle, he should be on his metal…if only I had a heart”. Now the Caps players are clearly not made of metal, nor do they go to an Emerald city to see a Wizard. But they are lacking in one dire area; heart.

The game against Philly was a prime example of that, the Caps could have won. Maybe not easily, but they have the talent and ability to win games against teams who top two players are out.

You could make the excuse that Bryzgolav was on, and there is no doubt he was. But I find it hard to believe a team that wanted to win would wind up 5-1 because of a goalie.

While not playing like they give a care in the world is the reason they played like crap, their defense and shots on net didn’t help either. You can’t score goals without taking shots on net, guys. If you don’t believe me, the Flyers score is a prime example.

They got shots on net, granted, against an off goalie. I can guarantee you that a few of those pucks are going to make it in. That’s just how it works, ask your poorly defended goalies. When playing any team, best players out or not, having 5 shots on goal in any period is inexcusable.

Which leads me to yet another glaring weak spot from last nights game; DEFENSE. It’s that awesome thing of where you help the poor fellow in ten jillion pounds of ear try to keep a little rubber disk out of a 6X6 ft. net. You should try it some time, good stuff. Another helpful hint; When the defense actually shows up and plays, the other team doesn’t score. Mind blown, right?

Speaking of defense, forwards, it isn’t your primary job but you can help when you see you zone being taken over by the opponents. Ovechkin, I’m talking to you. You can be the most offensively talented player in the world, but that don’t mean potatoes if you don’t play all aspects of the game at least decent.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s wrong with the Caps, but it’s going to take a lot to figure out how to fix it. There isn’t a “one size fits all” band-aid equivalent, the Caps are just going to have to through a lot of trial and error to figure this mess out. Does it involve major trades and acquisitions at the trade deadline? Who knows, but expect something big to shake this team up.

On the third day of Christmas, a true Caps fan said to me…

12 Dec

Flyers suck! Is what you were thinking, right?

Tonight marks the second time these two clubs meet, out of the four times total this season. The last time the Caps and Flyers met, things were going great. The Caps were undefeated and were on an 7 game winning streak with no clouds in view.

Fast forward to now; the Caps 17th in the league, with Philly 3rd. While those stats are pretty bad, the Caps are on the turn around having won their last two games and ready to make it a full-fledged winning streak by adding one against a bitter rival.

This game isn’t going to be a piece of cake for either team. Both want to win, to beat a rival and to improve their standings. The Caps are also still transitioning into the new system Coach Dale Hunter has set out for them, although things did seem to finally click the other night when the Caps played Toronto, beating the Leafs 4-2.

The Flyers are also battling injuries with Chris Pronger out due to an eye injury, which follows his reoccurring knee injuries. The Flyers are on a winning streak as well, which makes this game even bigger. No predictions from me tonight, but expect an intense game, as usual when playing a rival.

That’s all for tonight folks! I have a Caps game to watch and some Government to  do.

Deja vu…

3 Dec

Remember last year when the Caps were on an eight game losing streak, no one’s job was safe, and 24/7 was filming Brucies f-bomb laden tirades? We happened to snap our losing streak to the Ottawa Senators (see where I’m going with this…) and had a rendition of Jersey Shore fist pumping in the locker room celebrating the win.

The Caps don’t have Bruce (congrats to Gordo on his second NHL goal last night) and they don’t have a HBO film crew following them around this year, but they’re on a downward spiral of 4 games and I’m sure there is some cursing going on. Can they snap their losing streak to the unfortunate Senators tonight? Or will the Senators escape with the W? Time will tell, but given the past few games, here are my predictions.

The Caps fired their Coach last Tuesday after a lackluster few weeks after their amazing start. At the beginning of the season, the Caps had beaten the Senators 2-1 at the Phone Booth. At that time; the Caps were 4-0 and looking an undefeated 7-0 streak in the face.

The Sens, on the other hand. Have been an average Canadian hockey team that doesn’t get much, if any, media attention. They’re record is a measly 12-11-2, which pretty sums up how well they play. Not great, but not horrendous. They lost their last game, so both teams are fighting to snap a losing streak or potential one.

I suspect the Caps will do their usual stone cold in the first hot and streaky throughout the rest of the game act. Ottawa will play like Ottawa, so meh. Whoever wins this game it’ll be by one or two goals. I also suspect this will be a low scoring and tight game. Here’s to the Caps defense showing up and the forwards not giving up, eh?

Other notes:

-Semin and Hamrlick aren’t playing due to undisclosed upper  and lowerbody injuries, respectively.

-Matty P’s in due to Semin being out.

-Random thought: Doesn’t Dale Hunter look like Patrick Swayze?

Grab your sacks, Caps fans

28 Nov

We have a new, back breaking coach in town. Who will hopefully break some Russian ass (not naming who…) and have his players show up. His mname is Dale Hunter, legendary ex-Capital who quit his job as an OHL coach for the London Knights to come coach his former team.

Was this the right move by McPhee? Business wise, possibly. Boudreau, had lost his players. As much as I hate to admit it, no one’s listening because Ovie’s not listening. Bruce is a good coach and it hasn’t been all his fault at all for the Caps early exits and losing streaks. He can’t get on the ice and play for them, they have to actually show up and play with some god damn heart. Which they haven’t done the past few years and haven’t done recently. He can change the lines, curse, just do whatever! But if the players don’t decide to play themselves he may as well be speaking gibberish while doing the hula. The players aren’t motivated and it shows.

Emotions wise? Bruce was like Bald Santa, for christ sake! How do you not love the guy? He worked hard, it wasn’t his fault the players stopped listening. Also, it’s impossible not crack a smile at him doing bird calls or jazzercise. The guy was a total teddy bear who wanted to win. He just played “good cop” for too long.

What can Hunter expect as Coach of the both best and worst team in the league? With the Caps level of caring so sky-high lately, I don’t expect much. Here are some of my predictions, call me crazy;
1. Caps don’t make the Playoffs, they finally fell off the cliff they’ve been edging closer to and the coach really wasn’t the determining factor in their failure. The players were.

2. GMGM get’s the ax, Hunter was his last resort and will fall through like a cheap pie crust.

3. Boudreau will (somewhat) quickly find another coaching job and will win the Cup before the Caps. (While I get to give Ovie a nasty smile and say “this is what you wanted” >:))
4. Semin and Ovie get traded over the off-season. Ovie hopefully to a the Blues (they need a team player like him, don’t they?) and Semin to a frozen hole in the KHL.

5. All players, coaches, and fans alike  lost (at least) a little respect of Ovie for pulling that dick move of getting his Coach fired for wanting him to adapt and become a team player.

Thoughts and comments on my crazy predictions?

Much ado about Semin

21 Nov

After the Caps embarrassing game against the Leafs ,you can’t slice or dice that game any other way. Boudreau has decided something needs to change (I’m glad someone’s listening to me!)and his idea of change is to bench Semin. And by bench I mean make sit in the press box and eat nachos.

I don't think he likes nachos...

Was this a good decision by Boudreau? I like to think so, Boudreau’s message clearly wasn’t getting across before, so if making him eat nachos for one night works, and he plays up to the caliber of talent he has, it was totally worth it. You can’t disagree with me, Sasha fans.

My two cents?

Semin is a really, really talented player and I truly respect him for that. But his (sometimes) seeming lack of effort is very frustrating to watch. Especially when it looks like everyone else is playing hard.

Another important note I’d like to point out, Semin did score a goal in our game against Winnipeg. That was great, but if you look at his play outside of that game, you’ll realize something has to change.
Whether he gets a wake up call or it’s the rest of the team. Anyway you slice or dice it, somebody or something has to get the Caps refocused, energized, and ready to compete at their highest caliber.

Hey Caps, there’s a game going on…

17 Nov

I am absolutely disgusted by the Caps right now (now being the end of the second where the Jets scored 3 goals). I have never seen such a lack of effort, heart, or play by any team I have ever watched. Much less the so touted “best team in the NHL”. My PE floor hockey team play better than these guys and 3 of the players don’t even play!

How is it that we have some of  the, arguably, best players in the NHL but we fail to win game after game to easy opponent after easy opponent. And for chrissake, our defense isn’t even at the game! Did we lose them at the airport? If our defense is so lacking in depth that one player makes or breaks the team, then we need to reevaluate the players we have.

Last year we had our infamous eight game losing skid; something changed, the Caps finally got the message, playing Ottawa of all teams. This isn’t an eight game losing streak, yet. But with the way the Caps are playing, I wouldn’t be surprised if we finished at the bottom of the league.

Something has got to change. At this point, I don’t care if it’s players, coaches, or whatever. Some thing has got to get across to these 22 players that they have to play hard, every damn minute they are on the ice. I don’t care if we’re winning by 50 goals with 10 seconds left.

Someone has got to get the point across to them, you don’t win by standing around in your zone watching pucks fly into the net. are they going to get that message, for the 50th time? I damn sure hope so.

It all started with the Saber tooth tigers…

15 Nov

Helmet? Check. Intense look? Check. Movember mustache? Double check!

That’s right folks! Onthe  first “real” road trip the Caps face the Predators. Sounds scary, right? Their 8th place in the Western conference? not so much. That’s not to say they aren’t a good team, they are 3rd in their division (that ain’t saying much) and have Defensive fire power Shea Weber.

That’s not to mention the suddenly Pekka Rinne who’s save percentage is an impressive .929%  and has 8 of their 16 wins under his belt. And last but not least, the Preds offense. Well, lack thereof… It seems the Caps have found the Preds kryptonite seeing as their offense (minus 3 players) has shown up about as much as the Caps defense. Yeah, not so hot.

Does this mean this game will be a piece of cake? not at all. With a hot goalie and equally hot defense, we’re going to have to stay on our offensive and defensive toes. you aren’t off the hook either Vokoun! If the Caps stick to their guns and just play good hockey, we should be fine. But without Green *gulp* things could get a little hairy from time to time. I’d also love for Brucie to get the memo his crazy line changes AREN’T working and just causing Caps fans minor heart attacks. Can we win this game? Yes. Will we? depends on who shows up and, most importantly, time.

Good Sasha vs. Bad Sasha

11 Nov

Where to start? As I’ve said before, Alexander Semin is the best hockey player in the NHL. When he wants to be. Note key word WANTS. As we all know (ex) fan favorite Matt Bradley, lovingly called Brads, called out Semin because of his lack of care and effort. Sparking the #SashaCares hashtag amongst Sasha lovers throughout the twitterverse.

While it is arguable Brads motive (were his panties in a wad over being dropped or was he preaching the truth he wasn’t able to while playing for Washington?) there is one absolute fact you can take away from this; Semin hadn’t been playing good, smart hockey.

There is no way you can slice or dice that pie to see it any differently. He has been taking stupid penalties (see routine offensive zone penalty), taking shifts (games) off, and just playing lazy hockey. After all these “allegations” came out Semin has appeared more focused and an all around better player these past few weeks, at least most of the time.

Old habits die-hard, and in this case Semins routine offensive zone penalty was too hard to let go. In tonight’s game (I’ll have the recap up tomorrow), Semin was benched after a questionable stick penalty in the first. Now you’re probably saying “He shouldn’t have been benched for that! If you saw the replay you could clearly see it wasn’t a penalty”, but that’s only have of it.

Yes Boudreau did bench Semin because of his (questionable) stupid decision tonight and also because he didn’t seem to “have it”, but it was really about what’s been going on the last few weeks. Heck, the past few seasons!

As stated above, Semin is inconsistent. He’s more hot and cold than Katy Perry’s hit from forever ago (recall those tween days?) and you can almost bet that if he’s played well or has gotten a goal, he’ll get an offensive zone penalty. It’s like clockwork, but the wrong kind of clock work.

The way he plays is one of the major reasons we crap out in the playoffs (unless we’re playing the Rangers). We’re inconsistent, don’t show up, and play stupid. I’m not blaming the earth, moon, and stars on him; but as a major fixture of this team, he needs to play more like the player he’s capable of.

As far as his contract extension, Boudreaus benching spoke more than any press conference could. He’s trying to get the message across that everyone on the team is accountable for their actions, even the stars. I expect if things keep up the way they have the past few seasons, he probably won’t get the extension. Time will tell, for Alex Semin. In many ways.

You can’t come to Canada, eh? Canada comes to you!

29 Oct

It’s snowing. Not only is it snowing, it’s October in Falls Church. That’s like DJ King scoring a hat trick on Henrik Lundvquist. It, just-no. That being said, the Caps are on their first road trip of the season in Canada. And Canada was so kind to send some of their weather our way, sadly they forgot the moosehats and maple syrup. 

No mooses were killed in the production of this hat

 So far the Caps have had their tushes handed to them by the Oilers, in true Canadian fashion, eh? But the Caps hope to change that line tonight against the Canuckleheads (my adoring nickname).

It wouldn’t be a Caps game without a little drama, so let’s  throw in Greeners twisted ankle and an incorrigible defense. Is the popcorn ready yet?

If our teams drama wasn’t enough to earn itself a spot on SoapTv, Vancouver is overflowing with Jersey Shore rejects. Well not overflowing…

“It’s called GTL…”

All greasy hair jokes aside (there are a lot), Luongo will either be a brick wall or a fluttery tarp. I’m rooting for LOLongo, personally…

Let’s not forget tweedle dee and tweedle dumb Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Pretty much, the Canuckleheads only offensive power
houses (minus helmet hair Kesler). I won’t bore you with the rest of the roster, their all your typical American/Canadian chokers…(sound familiar, Caps fans?)
 
Well, that’s all for now folks! It’s time for college football as the October blizzard of 2011 continues…
 
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