The Washington Capitals are in the driver’s seat for the Southeast division crown. And even though tonight’s game against the Jets looms large, a loss won’t kill the Caps’ chances of making the playoffs — though it will make it much more difficult to win the division. If they lose tonight and manage to still win their final two games, they will be guaranteed a playoff spot.

As it stands right now, the Caps have a 91.1% chance of making the postseason and an 86.7% of winning the Southeast. The Winnipeg Jets have a steeper climb. Despite a big win over Buffalo on Monday, the Jets have just a 31.6% probability of making it to the Stanley Cup playoffs and a 13.3% of becoming division champs.

There are a lot of ways this could shake out, and a lot of possible tiebreakers to consider.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

2012 2013 Division Standings Standings   NHL.com   Standings

Here we stand. The Washington Capitals have 29 points in the standings, good for 10th place in the East. They are three points out of 8th place, although the teams tied at 32 have played one less game. Winnipeg still leads the Southeast Division, although they’ve played two more games than Carolina, who are just two points behind.

The Caps have 17 games left this season — just 5 games until the April 3rd trade deadline. Before then, they’ve got to figure out if they are a playoff team or not. The stakes are high.

Continue Reading

What Do All These Shutouts Mean For The Caps?

Alex Ovechkin

Photo credit: Rob Carr

Friday’s 6-0 drubbing by the Rangers was the ninth time the Capitals have been shutout this season. Washington is now well on their way to being shut out in double digit games for the first time since 1999. As you might expect, getting shutout is not a recipe for playoff success — if you’re fortunate enough to even make the playoffs.

Continue Reading

Nick Backstrom defending the neutral zone

Photo credit: Scott Cunningham

After the Capitals’ humiliating 7-0 loss to the Rangers in December, head coach Bruce Boudreau changed his defensive scheme to include the neutral-zone trap. I won’t go into the how and why this system works, but it essentially looks to keep small mistakes from turning into major breakdowns that lead to goals against.

Over the years, the trap has often been associated with teams that have a “defense first” mentality – you know, boring squads. That’s a far cry from last season’s “run ‘n’ gun” Caps team that lead the League in scoring by almost 50 goals while being merely average at keeping the puck out their own net. Most notably, it satisfies critics who feel the system employed by Boudreau over the past few seasons is incapable of winning in the playoffs. But is it?

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

Peter’s Gone Canadian On Us

This just happened.

(8:35:19 PM) Peter Hassett: we’re still gonna win
(8:35:21 PM) Peter Hassett: OMG
(8:35:25 PM) me: “we’re”
(8:35:27 PM) Peter Hassett: I said “we”
(8:35:29 PM) Peter Hassett: omg

Love,
Stevie K.

Tagged with:
 

Point/Counterpoint: Mike Green Ditches the Media

84630958BB001_TAMPA_BAY_LIG

It’s the last day of school at Kettler Capitals Iceplex today, and there’s a little bit of summer drama in the air.  While his teammates were getting interviewed (and sometimes skewered)  during the end-of-season press conferences, Canada’s Best Defenseman Mike Green quietly left without speaking to the media.

Mike was held goalless in the losing playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens and was a crucial ingredient in both Habs goals in game 7.  What does his absence today mean?  Peter Hassett and Neil Greenberg take sides and battle-rap it out below.

Continue Reading

2009-2010 Washington Capitals: Rest in Peace

Alex Ovechkin Skates with his head down as the Canadiens Upset the League's Best Team in the Playoffs (Photo by Nick Wass)

The Montreal Canadiens have made fools of us all, worshippers of a false idol, suckers swindled by snake oil salesmen.  Jaroslav Halak and his Habs bested the Washington Capitals in these conference quarterfinals, and we now stare down the long, lonely hallway of the offseason.

Anger, despair, confusion; I know you’re feeling one of these.  I am, too.

But let’s– just for a moment– try to fill the night with humility.  The Montreal Canadiens are a wickedly savvy team, and they slayed the dragon tonight.  Congratulations to the opponent.

And let us feel gratitude, too.  Despite what you think of the last seven games (and you’re not alone), we must stand in admiration of the Capitals’ effort this season.  They did the impossible so often, an average game became an aberration.  For every high five and every chest bump, the human contact we direly miss tonight,  we thank them.

So go shave, my friends.  We’ll talk again soon.

#beardpact Week 3: Not the End.

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to write here. How could I sum up the anxiety and uncertainty about tonight’s game 7? Will it all end tonight? Will our beards not reach biblical proportions?

We say NO. The Caps have won their last 4 Wednesday games. Tonight shall be no different. The boys in red will prevail, as will our facial hair.

Our beards cannot give up, they cannot surrender. My beard is only a faint glimmer of its full potential. Besides, girls seem to think my beard is cute, and I WILL NOT let that go away. This #beardpact must survive the night, there is no other option. May my razor rust and all my neighbors think I’m a danger to their kids before I have to shave this beard.

#beardpacters, what say you? Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

#beardpact Day 9: Time To Say Goodbye To The Habs

beardpact-logo-twilight

Game day has arrived once more, my fuzzy-faced friends. Four games have passed thus far. Some of us have been lectured by our bosses on our unkept visages, some have likely had significant others part ways (Not me, I actually got a number unsolicited the other day. Go beard!); but despite any misfortunes, the bearded ones persevere. As such we come to Game 5 tonight, with the Capitals returning home to the Verizon Center intent on closing out the series with the ‘Nads. From starting the series with a loss, the once-scraggly Caps have grown into a well-bearded offensive machine, even Nicklas Backstrom, whose face is forever frozen in time at age 13.
Let’s see how everyone’s faces are filling in today:
Blog aristocrat Ian Oland described his facial hair to me this morning as “getting more embarrassing by the day.”
Hangover isn’t the word to describe Peter Hassett’s current mental state. Aftermath looks about right.
Neil Greenberg continues to astound the masses with his preternatural ability to grow a beard on command.
In a surprise fill-in for Peter, who thinks his best friend’s wedding is more important than playoff hockey, your bewhiskered author for the day, Stevie K.

Game day has arrived once more, my fuzzy-faced friends. Four games have passed thus far, some of us have been lectured by our bosses on our unkept visages, some have likely had significant others part ways (Not me, I actually got a number unsolicited the other day. Go beard!); but despite any misfortunes, the bearded ones persevere. As such we come to Game 5 tonight, with the Capitals returning home to the Verizon Center intent on closing out the series with the ‘Nads. From starting the series with a loss, the once-scraggly Caps have grown into a well-bearded offensive machine, even Nicklas Backstrom, whose face is forever frozen in time at age 13.

Let’s see how everyone’s faces are filling in today.

Continue Reading

Tagged with:
 

#beardpact Day Something: Looking Increasingly Hobo-Like

beardpact-logo-kennyloggins

Puck drop imminent, and it’s time to check in with our scraggly soldiers.  But first, tell me if this has happened to you:  you’re at 7-11 getting a BIG GULP, paying in pennies as usual, and the lady behind the counter thinks you’re homeless.  You try to explain that the hockey team with the Russians MADE you lock up your razor blades, but that just makes things worse.  Some people! Right?

How are the RMNB dudes looking?  NOT GOOD.

Continue Reading

Tagged with: