Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is It 11:55 Already For The Caps??

The one thing I was very concerned with when it came to the Capitals in the playoffs is what's going to happen with the defense. They had plenty of guys to move the puck, but would there be enough guys to stay back and help not only to cover for the rushing playmakers, but to help out Cristobal Huet if he needed someone on odd-men rushes. On top of that, experience in the playoffs and dealing with the pressure would probably have helped to.

The past two games for the Caps, you can see that the inexperience is there, as well as the sloppiness and not having guys cover for the rushers. The giveaway in Game Two that led to the Jeff Carter goal and the giveaway in Game Three that led to the Mike Richards penalty-shot goal are two prime examples of sloppy play on the back-end.

The blame can't be put squarely on the defense, though they are giving up an insane amount of shots, but the offensive guys who need to be on their game aren't kicking it into high gear. Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin have been very stagnant during this series and will have to be clutch in order to make the Caps believe again. These guys will have to get a sense of urgency in order to up their game and the game around them.

Whatever may happen, I don't think you can call this season a disappointment by any stretch of the imagination. The way the Caps surged from December to now has been one of the best Cinderella stories in the NHL and proved the team could be a winner again. They re-energize a very dormant DC hockey area and put all eyes on the US Nation's Capitol for the hockey world to focus on. Not only that, but they made Journey quite relevant again.

It has been a helluva ride. I definitely hope it doesn't stop here, but if it does-- sobeit. It made the Caps winners again, it make the Caps relevant again, and it gave the youngsters a very good sense of what is at hand when dealing with a playoff situation.

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