Capitals fans have been spoiled of late. The Capitals are on their longest winning streak this season and remain a force at home with an 18-1-1 record. When the Flyers sent the Capitals to the shootout, get this: the Capitals won! Incredible.
While spirits are high in Washington, if you're in need of a "downer" consider this: The Blue Jackets are one of two teams that have shut out the Caps this season. That shutout came after Jose Theodore shut out his former team, the Montreal Canadiens.
The hockey gods giveth, and the hockey gods taketh away.
Washington Capitals (27-11-3, first in SE, second in EC, last game 2-1 SO win over Philadephia)
Columbus Blue Jackets (18-18-4, third in CEN, 11th in WC, last game 3-0 loss to Detroit)
Not feelin' your pain
The last time the Capitals faced the Blue Jackets they were in the middle of a freak wave of injuries. Now it's the Blue Jackets who are missing personnel coming into the game. The Blue Jackets just placed goalie Pascal Leclaire on IR and have another five players on the IR as well. Even their star player, Rick Nash, is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
The wrong goalie's injured!
While losing Pascal Leclaire to the IR is a blow to the Blue Jackets' depth, they do have the best goaltender in the NHL, and he's a rookie. Steve Mason has the league lead in goals allowed and save percentage at age 20. He won't be appearing in the NHL All-Star game later this month, but will likely play in the Young Stars game.
Carry the flag? No thanks, I'd rather watch hockey
Probably one of the worst intro videos I have ever seen. Oh wait, I take that back.
In their last five games, the Blue Jackets have only converted on two of their 19 power play chances. In their last two games, the BJs have allowed 6 power play goals on 13 chances. In their Jan. 3 bout with St. Louis, the BJs allowed a short-handed goal. I guess that would explain why the Blue Jackets are dead last in power play conversions with a 10.2% mark.
Puck Possession and Tough Customers
Here's your stat of the day: The Blue Jackets have the third fewest giveaways in the NHL (214). The Caps lead the league in giveaways (502). Another interesting stat to ponder is that the Blue Jackets are fifth in the NHL with 952 hits; 453 of those came on the road.
Yakkity Sax + Swedish Goalie diving = YouTube hilarity
Not related to the game, but too entertaining to pass up.
If you're still mad about the ASG selections
Round the sphere
Jaromir Jagr is rumored to return to the NHL...Jarkko Ruutu has a league mandated timeout in the corner after biting a player...Washington, D.C., is snub city and the Caps blogosphere is mad as hell...Caps prospect John Carlson gets to play with top NHL prospect John Tavares...Push the linesman and salute your fans, that's how they do it in Toronto.
LET'S GO CAPS!