How many times have we said “this is the worst game all season”? It seems like it’s been half a dozen times at least, maybe more. Someone make a slideshow of this and get back to us, complete with sad eighties breakup music.
I don’t know if this was The Definitive Worst Game of the Season, if only because it has so much competition, but it was pretty bad. Please come down from the ledge and let’s talk about it. We’re here for you.
Zach Parise scored a pretty PP goal on a pretty pass from Patrik Elias. Michal Neuvirth let another Parise shot trickle through to make it two goals on four shots. Former Cap Dainus Zubrus closed out the first period with a slapstick falling-down third goal. Parise scored a third for the hat trick, but no hats were forthcoming at the Verizon Center, no sir. Patrick Elias capitalized on a shorthanded chance on a Caps PP. Devils beat Caps, 5-0.
- I know it’s difficult to remember, but there was actually a point in this game where the Caps weren’t getting steamrollered. Brouwer, Chimera, and Semin all had very good scoring chances in the first period, all stoned by Hedberg. I felt like it was going to happen for the Caps. It was the least accurate intuition ever.
- I was hard on Jeff Schultz last game, so credit where it’s due–he had a great shot from the point and a huge hit on Kovalchuk before the game was five minutes old tonight. Dude really has improved, a la the Jim Johnson Healthy Scratch Night School. We’ve recently and somewhat disturbingly learned that his nickname is Big Nasty, so it’s up to him now to make it so we aren’t laughing every time we hear it.
- There were only four shots on goal through the first twelve minutes of the game — the Devils ended up with only 20 SOG total. Woo, firewagon hockey. Despite this, the Devils were dancing circles around the Caps all night, looking like a team full of Gretzkys. This skillshow brought to you by the Washington Capitals’ defense, which is like unto Swiss cheese.
- The Caps allowed it to become Zach Parise night in Washington. He scored a hat trick tonight in our own stadium, and the only way I will ever forgive him for this is if he signs with the Caps this summer and plays for us until he retires, so there. Side note: he also wrapped up his exciting night by getting sandwiched by Hendricks and Laich and taking Laich’s stick to the face, so we do hope he’s not seriously hurt.
- That was the first hat trick against the Caps have allowed in the regular season since Oct 6, 2009, Mike Richards in a Caps vs. Flyers game.
- Michal Neuvirth gave up five goals on thirteen shots tonight. Perhaps “play the hot hand” should be adjusted to “play the goalie who’s in a groove until you think he might reasonably be tired and then perhaps start a goalie who might be less tired, because that’s the cool thing about having a talented tandem.”
- Speaking of giving up — the Caps have allowed 4 shorthanded goals in the last 10 games. Somehow I think that’s not on the whiteboard.
- Special thanks to the Toronto Maple Leafs for making sure this terrible game wasn’t headline news tonight — former Caps’ coach Ron Wilson was fired after the late-season collapse that has become typical of the Leafs in recent years. More than one person immediately responded to this news by suggesting Wilson return behind the bench in Washington. Thoughts, Caps fans?
Well, that was about as much fun as a seasick crocodile.
Apparently a three-game streak is long enough, we were getting our expectations up too high. This doesn’t mean the playoffs run is dead, though, so there’s no reason to go spiraling back into Lord of the Flies mode just yet. Making a playoffs push doesn’t mean we’re never losing again, it means the team is trying to make things work with — let’s admit it, limited resources right now, and hopefully scraping together some points along the way. The Caps had some good chances and some very good moments early on, this was just a very, very bad night. Happens. There’s got to be pain and hardship, otherwise how will Karl Alzner write a country album about this season?
Special reminder that the Caps’ direct competition at the moment, the Florida Panthers, lost to the Jets 7-0 last night. The embarrassing mediocrity that is the Southeast Division may yet be this team’s saving grace, but if it’s going to happen they will need to play nothing like they played tonight, ever, ever again. Losing like this makes it feel like season is over, but surprisingly the Caps will still be allowed to play 18 more games after this — all we can do is hope that they’re ready to play them.