Monday, January 1, 2007

I hate reruns

The Capitals harshest stretch of the season is almost over. And not a moment too soon.

I said before that I was hoping the Caps could take 2 wins during this five game stretch. I even go all optimistic and called for 3. I never thought that this team would take home exactly zero points from those 5 games.

One thing this set of games should do is calm down all those fans that are calling for trades at the deadline to improve the team for a playoff run this year. It was all too apparent that the Caps lack the depth they need to compete in a seven game series. They simply don't have the wealth of talent. Yes, I know that the team was shredded by injuries and illness, but every team gets a bite taken out of it by the injury bug from time to time. More veteran and deeper teams still find ways way to secure points, whether in wins or OT losses. The Capitals simply couldn't dig as deep as they needed to. This is not to say that they lacked effort (they didn't). They just aren't a team that can manage lost man-games to injury, especially in such a horrid stretch of games.

What lies ahead for the Capitals this year seems apparent. They will work their butts off to win a lot of games they wouldn't take on talent alone. They will lose some heartbreaking games they should win (a la their game with the Flightless Devilbirds). And they will finish somewhere between 7th and 10th in the Eastern Conference. They may make the playoffs, they may not. But the team is not yet ready for a serious run. Trading away club assets to assure a playoff birth this season should not be a priority. Securing a free agent or two in the offseason should be.

The one issue I'm most concerned with at this point is the Capitals poor play with the man advantage. They yet again failed to score on a lengthy 5 on 3. Perhaps they need to move more bulk to the front of the net and just let the puck fly looking for a goal off the screen, redirect or rebound. Sometimes having too many purely talented players on the ice at once leads to over complicating the issue.

The Caps next game is this Thursday at the V against the Habs. Hopefully the time off will allow the team to heal (from injury and the plague).


DCSportsChick said...

Yeah, watching that 5-on-3 yesterday was frustrating, because I knew they were doomed. Not that I expect them to score with a 2-man advantage every time, but just once would be nice!

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