Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Lightning Strikes Again...and Again...and Again

This recap is a little late, and I promise it's not because the Caps lost in such a horrible fashion.

Well, not entirely because of that.

Last night's game (and I use that word loosely) was a mess. Sloppy passes, bad penalties, horrible penalty killing, mediocre goaltending...this was the Mr. Hyde portion of our team. Nothing seemed to go right. In fact, the Caps almost seemed to be mocking all 2,000 of us lucky people who showed up to watch the catastrophe live.

They needed to jump on the Bolts early and take the lead going into the first intermission.

They didn't.

Then after falling behind, they needed to bounce back in the second and put up a good twenty minutes to stay in the game.

They didn't.

They needed to play with more intensity, more desperation in the final frame.

They kind of did, but by then it was too little, too late.

It wasn't even an interesting game - I think they were trying to lull everyone to sleep so we wouldn't notice how badly they were sucking out there. It certainly felt like I was being induced into a coma...a feeling that wasn't helped by the fact that you could hear conversations being held on the other side of the arena...

It was funny, because the Bolts didn't even seem to be playing particularly well, either - they just didn't have to. The Caps were more than willing to lose this one on their own, and were nice enough to spare the Tampa goalie the embarassment of blowing a 3 goal lead, something that looked possible in the waning minutes of the game.

There's a part of me that is glad the Caps mini-rally wasn't successful. If you come out and play like that for 50-55 minutes, you certainly don't deserve 2 points.

Of course, the other part of me was hoping for at least one point, maybe just a loss in overtime or a shootout. That's the same part that saw the standings today and realized that one point would have kept the Caps in 2nd in the division and 5th in the conference.

But it's probably too early to think that way - we're not even halfway through the season. Those standings are going to flip-flop so many times we're going to get motion sickness. Bottom line: the Caps played a horrible game last night, and I'm sure every single one of them knows it. Chalk this one up to a bad game, pick up the pieces, and look ahead to Friday's game against the Devils.

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