Editor’s Note: This is the next to last Sports Fix roundup. Starting in February, we’ll be doing sport-specific features on a bi-weekly basis.
Record: 25-14-7, 57 points
Last Two Weeks: 2-2-2
Place: 2nd in the Southeast, 5th in the East
Welcome to Thunderdome, er, I mean, January, where many hockey seasons are made or broken. The Capitals have marked January with offensive struggles and some serious road game failures, and it’s taken its toll on their position in the standings. While the Caps are still in the middle of the playoff picture, they’re closer in points to 8th place than they are to 1st place.
We’ve expressed our concerns with the Caps’ offensive concerns and their superstar droughts, and they weigh heavy as the Capitals go on a crucial 3-game roadtrip to Philadelphia, Long Island and Toronto before they come back to face the Rangers. The Capitals should take (well, will need to take) games against the Islanders and Maple Leafs, and a win against top-ranked Philadelphia would do a lot to shore up the Caps in the Southeast.
The Caps are still looking to put together a whole 60-minute game. That should be troubling to the fans as we head into the most important part of the season. If the Caps can gel an offense as they head into February, the Caps should be in good shape for the playoffs. As it stands, the Caps would be facing the Penguins if the playoffs started today, and as good of a series as that would be, I’d not like to see it with the Caps offense not running at full capacity.
Last Two Weeks:3-3
Place: 5th in the Southeast
In a recent press conference Coach Flip Saunders explained the four phases of rebuilding a team. The first step is learning how to beat bad teams at home and then learning how to defeat good teams at home. As the team gets better they should be able to defeat bad teams on the road and once you become a contender, you’ll be able to take on the best on their home court.
When you look at the past two weeks, it’s encouraging to see a 3-3 record when you consider they won all three games at home against the fellow basement dwellers of the league (New Jersey, Sacramento, Toronto). While the Wiz still remain unvictorious on the road, they are at least getting that first step down: beating bad teams on your home court. The rest will come as the team rebuilds.
Meanwhile it’s exciting to watch the young pieces start to find their role. Nick Young has been en fuego, putting up an amazing 43 points in an January 11th victory against The Warriors. He’s becoming a top scoring option for the team and becoming an exciting player to see on the court. Josh Howard goes back to the bench with a sore left knee, he’s expected out for two weeks.
It maybe a good time for him to sit- it’s going to be a bumpy ride as the Wizards take on the best of the NBA over the next couple of weeks.
Coming Up: Monday vs. Utah, Wednesday at Milwaukee, Friday vs. Phoenix, Saturday vs. Boston