Ben here, filling in for Tom as he wings his way back across the Atlantic. He’ll have more National angst in a couple weeks, I’m sure.
Record: 36-16-5 (77 points)
Position in Division / Conference: First / Tied for second
Two words to describe the current sports darlings in town: On fire.
And at just the right time. The Caps enter this week, just about 2/3rds through the season, at a red-hot pace and fighting with perennial standings goliath New Jersey on a near-nightly basis for the second spot in the Conference. The Caps are 9-2-2 in their last 13, though their road record needs some work, evening out at 14-12-4.
Ovie, to no one’s surprise, has scored 27 goals in his last 29, including a hat trick last night against a surprising Florida team. Alex Semin knocked in another point last night as well, notching himself as the teams’ fourth 50-point scorer this year. Mike Green had a NHL record eight game point streak for defensemen come to an end, however, but his success is typical of a well-oiled hockey team just hitting the right stride for the upcoming playoffs.
With the NHL trade deadline nearing, it’ll be interesting to see how McPhee sees the team and if any moves might be made. Barring a total failure by Theodore – who’s been showing consistent signs of his early Vezina career – the team look solid enough to go far come April and May.
Position in Division / Conference: Dead last
This past weekend was the NBA’s All-Star break and the Wizards entered it in style: they lost 101-89 to the Charlotte Bobcats. A Bobcat team without their two main starters. Yes, the Wizards are missing five regulars…but at this point, any NCAA team could beat them on the court.
If you’re a Wizards fan, we’re sorry. Nationals fans sympathize, I’m sure – if I can find any other than Tom.
Biggest non-news? Rumors were swirling around a trade in the works that would swap Mike James and injured Etan Thomas for former Wizard Larry Hughes before the break, but that’s pretty much a dead deal now. The NBA trade deadline is on Feb 19; doubtful the Wizards can pull a rabbit out of their hat at this point.
So continues the inexorable plod towards the NBA draft lottery.
Spring training has begun, so enjoy the Nat’s position tied for first place. Hey, you take hope where you can get it, right?