This is a test. This website is conducting a test of the Emergency Capitals Broadcasting System. This is only a test.
The Pregame: Crazy… you know crazy? Not like “dingo ate my baby” crazy, or “I love Dan Snyder” crazy, but like, Groundhog Day crazy? As in: not only have I seen all this before, but I recall the precise taste of last week’s warm beer and bitter defeat? And why am I tasting it again? Am I at the Mystery Spot?
You have good reason. Here we are, thinking back to Friday’s collapsing defeat on the tail of a hot performance or two (or three), wondering what went wrong, how it could have happened, and what encouragement we might have to offer. Alan May: help us!
And suddenly we’re seized with deja vu; worse, even – not that we think we’ve sorta kinda been here before, but that we’ve been exactly completely here before, several times, right down to Alan May tossing us the lifeline of straight talk, to have it fall on plugged ears.
The Puck Drop
Normally you can count on us, your humble PuckBuddys, for some face-washing of our opponent’s city, sass about the team we’re facing, or a frothy mix of blithe hope and amnesia equaling a rah-rah go-Caps conclusion.
But we’re just not feeling it tonight. Look: we’ve been at the front lines – the avant-garde - of boostering the Capitals when others were grumbling in their oatmeal. We’ve heard your flushed pronouncements of a team unable to perform, in decline, needing a serious rebuild, and roundly packed it off to the garbage bin. Guess what: you can’t live in an NHL town – a real one – and not hear that chatter – even in Detroit.
We still dismiss it for that: chatter. But we cannot lie to you, our Soviet brothers and sisters. We still hope, and frankly believe that the Caps will down the Flyers tomorrow if they hit the ice on their toes at the start (this season we’re stinking at the classic Caps-Come-From-Behind), move hard in the first to get second chances at net (we’re too often one-and-done) and kick up the D by escalating the O, and minding every opponent in the D-zone (they’ve outshot us60 this season.)
But we aren’t so sure the team believes in that. Which, ultimately, is instilled in the players from someplace more senior. Teammates will skate their hearts out for other teammates who show bravura and spirit…so why isn’t that happening?
We fear something deeper is at play here. This team can win or lose any given night, and they’re proving exactly that. You might as well deal a deck of cards and predict red or black: the Capitals seem to have no core of performance.
They are not playing like a team machine; they aren’t playing like they believe in themselves. They’re playing like a bunch of doubters. Find the reason, and you can solve the problem.
Sorry to be such downers. You want stats and predictions – go elsewhere today. You want saucy snark about our opponents? Tonight’s really not the night.
Today, nobody is hot, or not. Everybody appears to be luke-warm porridge.
This has been a test of the Emergency Capitals Broadcasting System. Had this been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed who to blame, and where to transfer your loyalties. This concludes this test of the Emergency Capitals Broadcasting System.