Monday, March 23, 2009

Pre-Cap: Capitals vs. Maple Leafs

"We're still waiting, too, Bones; you're not alone"

Washington Capitals (45-23-6, first in SE, third in EC)
Toronto Maple Leafs (30-30-13, fifth in NE, 12th in EC)

Probable Goalies
WSH: Jose Theodore (28-16-4, .902%, 2.81 GAA)
TOR: Martin Gerber (8-12-1, .901%, 2.91 GAA)

Games of importance
Minnesota vs. NYR
Atlanta vs. Montreal

If a casual observer were to ask how the team was doing, depending on who you talked to you might hear "they suck and we're not going deep" or "we've won five of our last seven but the effort has been questionable in the losses."

Basically, two major losses admist a long road trip -- one to a nonplayoff team and the other to a potential first-round opponent -- have polarized some Caps fans.

Capitals fans are famous for their negativity and, following the Carolina loss, many felt that they have been watching the team through rose-colored glasses.

So that's what makes tonight's game against the Maple Leafs a must win to some fans. The Leafs have a 4-4-0 record this month, they aren't a playoff team, and it's the final game in a long road trip. If the Capitals win this game, they come home as heroes after a crusade in the south, but if they lose the wild speculation continues.

If there is any cause for concern this month for Caps fans, it's not that the team lost two games in the past seven, but that in 11 games this month the Caps have only averaged 2.36 goals a game, a mark that puts them second to last in the East for scoring in March.

Guys like Tomas Fleischmann, Eric Fehr and Michael Nylander need to start contributing to the scoring. To put it more bluntly, if your name is not Mike Green, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom or Alex Semin, the Caps need you to put the puck in the net.

And so that's what the focus of tonight's game should be.

The last time the Capitals played the Leafs in early March, they lost 2-1 and were Ovechkin-less. This time, they might be missing Alex Semin, but if there was ever a time for secondary scorers like Fehr and Flash to rise to the occasion, tonight's the night.

Losing two out of your last seven is no reason to panic, but averaging 2.36 goals the month before the playoffs does raise some concerns.



  1. ... Boyd Gordon is out for 3 weeks... but that's beyond the point.

  2. Slipped my mind, I guess I was just thinking about how much we are going to miss him in the face off circle over those three weeks.

  3. Substituted it with someone who defiantly needs to start pulling his weight, just for you Dan. I think you'll agree.

  4. You're not the only one who forgot he was out CK. Gordo is one of those guys, you may not remember everything about him by name, but on the ice he stands out.

  5. For the money Nylander is making, we need him to up his game with the playoff's looming. This season has been awful for Nyles but he could redeem himself in the post season

  6. 2.36 goals? We suck that bad?


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