Well here's the irony of currently being a Caps fan - ITS JUST SOOOOO CONFUSING right now - life as a Caps Fan that is. Here';s why - Saturday the Caps basically got lit up by the Toronto Maple Leafs ... 6-3 in case you missed it. I didn't - watched the whole thing there in the La - Z - Boy on the new 52" Plasma in sunny, scenic Bristow, VA. I don't think I've mentioned yet in this blog post how much i love my wife for that early Christmas present. Yes there it was the night started off so wonderfully the first period ended Caps 2 - Leafs 0 with the Caps basically imposing their will relentlessly on the Leafs and only some lights out goaltending by Vesla Toskla keeping the period from ending at least Caps 4 - Leafs 0. I imagine the discussions in the locker rooms during the first intermission went something like this:
Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau: Okay guys, don't let up, this guy Toskla has been keeping them in the game. We need to continue to dominate these guyys and make sure they don't get any easy, free shots on Michael. We need to convert some more of those scoring chances, we had 8 in the first period, how we don't come away with 4 goals I don't know. But I do know we need to keep pressing and controlling the puck like we have been. We're on national TV and these guys will make some adjustments and be trying to take it to us. They're not 7-3-1 in their last 11 games because they don't know how to play. Also we need to keep pretending we didn't play last night, we need to keep our feet moving and make these guys work harder then they've ever worked before. If we do, no reason we can't crack Toskla's armour a few more times and then with a 3 or 4 goal lead it's a whole different game - these guys are then likely to take a few penalties and make the rest of the night easy for us. Until then though, these guys are only two goals away from making this a realy tough game for us. Okay, lets go out there and show the Canadian Nation we know how to play this game just like we did the first period.
Coach Ron Wilson: Okay guys Toskla you keep doing everything you've been doing. The rest of you guy, forget about that first period, the Capitals made you guys look silly. Look there's no reason for that, you guys know how this game works, you're 7-3-1 in the last 11 and if you stop doing all the stupid things that have let these guys turn 12 shots on goal into 8 quality scoring chances you can still win this thing. These guys are taking some silly chances and making some poor bets - you need to make them pay for it. Toskla is playing a great game, the rest of you guys can and should as well. Now let's go out there and forget about the first period and play these guys like I know you can.
The problem for the Caps is assuming anything like that was said in wither locker room, the Leafs came out in the second period and executed, the Caps did not. Give the Leafs their due, they played good, solid hockey the last 40 minutes of the game, they deserved to win and boy did it hurt at times to watch for this Caps fan.
The irony of course is prior to the Game the Caps were first (1st) in the league standings and the Maple Leafs were either 28th or 29th. However as i pointed out here and in my pregame discussion the Leafs were 7-3-1 in the prior 11 games and had demonstrated a solid ability to play the rest of the league, save the Boston Bruins, competitively.
Another irony is as a Caps fan should I be elated, happy or totally depressed? Both you say? Are you saying that because with 20-7-6 record and 46 standings points the Caps have the fewest losses in the NHL and are still sitting atop the standings; AND the Caps are 1-2-0 in their last three games, including a 1 goal win, despite having all 6 of their top 6 forwards in the lineup for the first time in a long while and playing 2 of those three games against teams that are 29th and 30th in the league right now? Okay I get it but hey let's cut it with the negative waves man, the Caps are on the road the next three games.
Tomorrow night the Caps face off in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche; I'm betting Jose Theodore has an outstanding night against his former club and the Caps stick to their game plan after the embarrassment in Toronto on Saturday. No predictions other than this ... c'mon you know its going to be:
CAPS 4 AVALANCHE 2
LETS GO CAPS!!!!