If you ever needed another reason to hate ESPN (beyond Barry Melrose’s Hair, Holding Gary Thorne hostage, or introducing us to Steven A. Smith), earlier today they came out with their new NHL Power Rankings. Where did Washington rank?
Yes, ESPN ignored a ten game winning streak, where the Capitals plowed through the Flyers, Red Wings and Penguins like they were soft snow. Hell, ESPN even ignored their video-game-on-easy goal totals where the Capitals finished the month with 70 goals in 15 January games – 13 of those games were victories, 4 of the Free Wings Variety. Washington Post Columnist Tracee Hamilton even wrote about the team in this morning’s paper!
[The Capitals] scored 70 goals in January, exactly twice as many as their opponents. That’s an average of 4.67 goals a game, well above their season average of 3.82, which leads the league. During the 10-game streak, they’ve outscored their opponents 48 goals to 21. They’re on pace to score 313 goals this season, which would be the most an NHL team has racked up since the Detroit Red Wings scored 325 in the 1995-96 season.
Awesome analysis, Tracee. But let’s get back to the power rankings. If you read the comment they attribute towards the Capitals, it makes it seem like nobody in Bristol is even paying attention to the team. This article came out on February 1st, which was – welp – yesterday and, it’s been clear for a few days now that Canada’s Best Defenseman is uninjured and ready to play once he returns from suspension. But apparently ESPN still wants to milk that cow for all it’s worth:
The loss of Mike Green to suspension (three games for elbowing Michael Frolik) and potentially an injured knee (bruise) could be a big blow in coming days.
So let’s summarize, despite the blistering January, Alex Ovechkin being named the NHL’s first star of the month and Nicklas Backstrom being awarded the NHL’s Third Star of the Week, the Caps are not as good as San Jose right now. What does it freakin’ take?! Okay, fine. Whatever. I must refocus.
At least they’re 8 spots ahead of the Penguins.
I feel better already.