Sorry. Had to cheer myself up somehow. (Photo credit: Macaulay Culkin)
Did you think Wednesday’s shutout loss to the Lightning was the nadir of the Washington Capitals’ season? Or maybe it was the 7-0 loss to the Rangers? Tonight’s defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks might give those games company in the Awful Game Pantheon. Friends, these are the dark days. Feel free to stop reading now. Won’t hold it against you.
Matt Hendricks turned a great pass from Boyd Gordon into the night’s first goal. The Canucks combined Alexander Edler’s slapshot with a few screens to even it back up. On the power play, Christian Ehrhoff found an open spot in the slot to give the Canucks the lead, which they expanded via a giftwrapped breakaway for Daniel Sedin. Marcus Johansson gave Caps fans a fleeting delusion of optimism halfway through the third period, but the Caps didn’t catch up. Daniel Sedin snatched an empty netter, and that was it. Canucks beat Caps 4-2.
- Scoring chances were 14-19 in the Canucks’ favor. That makes the Capitals 40-60 in the last three games. Not only is that not Cup material; that’s not playoffs material.
- Alex Ovechkin, (3 shots, 0 goals) booked 10:41 of ice time in the final period. Aside from a few nice passes, he was a non-entity. Well, that’s not true. He did throw his hands up in effete tantrums whenever the referees didn’t provide the penalty whistles he demanded like a petulant child.
- Thank you, Matt Hendricks and Marcus Johansson, for demonstrating the last bastion of offensive give-a-shit-ness left on the Caps.
- We’ve been playing “who’s a liability” lately, but there’s too many to name tonight. Let’s do the opposite. Brooks Laich (3 scoring chances for, 1 against) and Mike Knuble (4 for, 1 against) were our best players on the night at even strength.
- Eric Fehr spent well deserved time on the top line where he was roundly ignored his mates Nick Backstrom and the not-so-great 8. He attempted only one shot (a miss) over nearly 14 minutes of time. He missed a good chunk of the game’s ending after a white-on-white incident with David Steckel.
- 19 scoreless games for 19.
- Three power play chances. Zero results. Apparently the right people did not read Neil’s great piece in the Post today?
Man, this post-game press conference with Bruce Boudreau is like a funeral.
We joked about panicking before, but now I’m not so sure. Neil thinks some personnel changes need to be made. Mathieu Perreault ought to return to Hershey [UPDATE: I misinterpreted Neil's comment. He suggests trading MP85 after bundling him with another HBH-er. I'm sorry for the error. - Peter], and some fresh blood among forwards is needed. I don’t disagree with him. He’s probably right, but I can’t imagine the team having any lasting success until Nick Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin, and Alex Semin shake the troop of monkeys off their backs.
February is a gauntlet: Montreal, Tampa Bay, and San Jose twice. If the Capitals can’t get their asses out of their heads ASAP, the season might be over sooner than any of us want to say.
Additional reporting by Neil “venison” Greenberg.
Post-script: Let’s do purge this game from our memories. In my opinion, R. Kelly’s “Bump n’ Grind” usually does the trick.