Friday, February 24, 2012

Woeful Washington wonders of what may have been

It wasn't much more than a year ago that hockey fans sat transfixed upon their television screens as the Washington Capitals played Belles of the ball as part of the original HBO 24 / 7 series.

The talkative Bruce Boudreau, in happier days in Washington shown to be in control of his Capitals, profanity laced tirades notwithstanding, the Caps appeared at that time to be very much the team on the rise that everyone anticipated they would be.

As history has shown, the Caps flamed out spectacularly in the second round of the playoffs last year, setting the stage for the season of drama that would come, a season that would see the head coach sacrificed over the lack of effort of his players.

And while Bruce Boudreau has landed nicely on his feet in Anaheim and has that struggling squad making noises about a playoff race now, his former team the Caps continue the free fall towards the bottom, the latest step backwards, Wednesday night and another lethargic loss, this time to the Senators, a loss that provides the Winnipeg Jets now with fanciful thoughts of perhaps claiming first place in the Southeast and enshrinement as one of the top 3 seeds at playoff time, go figure.

Wednesday nights game in Ottawa was the Capitals season in sixty minutes, a game that for the most part the opposition Sens controlled nicely, leaving the Caps for about a ten minute flurry in the third to show some hope before surrendering completely once again.

About the only positive for the Capitals on Wednesday, and in its way its a negative, is that Alex Ovechkin would not be subjected to the boos from the Ottawa faithful for his All Star rebuff, Ovechkin is still on the injured list and did not appear in Wednesday's defeat.

With each successive loss, the Capitals slip further and further away from a playoff spot, their only hope now it seems is to somehow sneak in the NHL's equivalent of the back door, that of winning the woeful Southeast division crown and grabbing the third seed, deserved or not.

Surely not a fate that many NHL observers thought would be the main thrust of the Capitals season back when the current campaign got underway in October.

Ottawa Citizen-- Senators deliver Capital punishment
Globe and Mail-- Capitals, Senators heading in different directions
National Post-- Washington Capitals' empire crumbles around them
National Post-- Alex Ovechkin, Capitals are not what they used to be
Washington Times-- Capitals can't climb out of deep hole in loss to Senators
Washington Times-- Will the struggling Capitals be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?
Washington Post-- Reeling from demoralizing road trip, struggling Caps in need of a spark
Washington Post-- Without Ovechkin, Washington drops third straight...

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