Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Rule of Eights, Part 10

Keeping things in perspective: Divide the season into 10 8-game blocks (plus two "bonus" games); score 10 points per block for 100 points and a trip to the playoffs.

Final 8: 5-1-2, 12 pts. Despite all the fan hand-wringing, one of the best octets of the season. 100+ points achieved, without using the two "bonus" games.
9th 8: 4-3-1, 9 pts. Playing good Cap, bad Cap: three losses followed by three wins, followed by a bad loss, followed by a good win.
8th 8: 5-3-0, 10 pts. Three home-game losses (Avalanche, Flyers, Panthers) as trade deadline looms.
7th 8: 5-1-2, 12 pts. Mike Green sets NHL consecutive-games goal record for defensemen.
6th 8: 4-4-0, 8 pts. Three-game losing streak broken by big wins over Pittsburgh, Boston.
5th 8: 7-1-0, 14 pts. Six-game win streak, seven of last eight, 13 of last 15 -- fastest start in team history. Fifty-five points total at the halfway point of the blocks.
4th 8: 6-2-0, 12 pts. Injured stars return, sparking a four-game winning streak.
3rd 8: 3-4-1, 7 pts. Grueling road trip produces enough injured Caps players to form an All-Star team.
2nd 8: 6-1-1, 13 pts. Semin sizzling, Ovechkin-Backstrom getting hotter, and two, count 'em, two No. 1 goalies ... got our 10, plus 3 for the "bank."
1st 8: 4-3-1, 9 pts. Injury-scrambled lines and a Backstrom-Ovechkin "dead zone" ... coming up 1 point short isn't too bad an effort.

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