Another Caps Hockey Game, another disappointing slow start that ended in more disappointment. The Caps rolled in to Saint Louis off a 1 - 0 loss the prior evening at Verizon Center. They apparently decided that since New Jersey successfully beat them by slowing the pace of the game, they'd try and do the same thing against Saint Louis. One could talk fancy stats or simple stats or "olde tyme hockey" or whatever you want and by every normal measure, especially the scoreboard, the bottom line is it didn't work. As the final seconds of the game wound down last night the scoreboard showed Blues 4 - Capitals 1.Blues goalie Brian Elliott wasn't all that great, and that makes the final score even tougher to take - the goalie wasn't unbeatable, but he didn't have to be. Add to the fact the Capitals forwards didn't make it hard for Elliott to turn in a 0.960 SV% on the night the fact that in addition to having brain freeze similar to Holtby's faux paux on Friday night that Justin Peters turned in a SV% of just 0.882 last night and the final score of 4-1 can only be attributed to the Caps limiting the Blues to just 34 SOG.
The Caps are now 0.500 on the season with 17 games (21%) of the 82 game season played so far. That's not good enough, by any measure to be confident in this team's chances of returning to the playoffs. They need to settle down, play the system much harder for 60:00 of every game and move things forward. On the GM side of things, some things need to happen, and one of them is resign/extend Mike Green now not later. A second is clear Cap space of guys who will never again be even close to what George McPhee signed them for - for example one should not be paying $4.5M of cap space for a guy who if/when he gets healthy is a third line center for your team or $2M for a guy who might sometime later this season be your #7 D-man... . A third thing is that between the GM and the coaches they need to facilitate some stability in the top three lines and let the players work out their issues as long as they play hard for 60:00 of every game. The musical chairs on the lines isn't helping provide any of the needed spark IMO.
I know last night was game 2 of a back to back but you know what, just like the Saint Louis Blues, I don't care, nor can the Capitals afford to care or think about that either. Basically what this Capitals team needs to do is play the entire first 50:00 of every game with the same drive, speed and urgency like they seem to be playing the last 10:00. Last night they didn't do that and it cost them another two points. Will they look inward and decide enough is enough during these next two days before facing the