capitals hockey, Sports Fix, The Features

Halfway There: Capitals Midseason Review

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘bhrome’

At the beginning of the season, many fans of the Caps pretty much wanted to fast-forward to mid-April and get going with the playoffs. Going into this year’s campaign, the Caps looked pretty good on paper and were predicted to be yet again runaway winners of the Southeast Division and one of the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference.

Now? Well, it’s not all doom and gloom – but reality has definitely sunk in.

The Caps currently sit second in the Southeast Division, one point behind the current leader, Tampa Bay. And two points behind the Caps? The surprisingly strong Atlanta Thrashers. This year’s division race will not be a repeat of last year, when the Caps had sealed their division title before the Ides of March with a thirty point cushion. It will come down to the wire again, much like 2007-08, when the Caps wrested the title from the Carolina Hurricanes on the last game of the season.

When comparing the first half of this season to the last two, the Caps are virtually in the same spot. Currently sitting with 52 points this year, it’s only three points less than last season and five points less than two years back. True, it is “less than,” which annoys many fans to no end. But considering the adversity and issues the team has had to deal with so far, the fact that they’re not less than 10 or 15 points back is something to take a bit of pride in. Or is it?

Let’s break the team down so far and see what we can see. Continue reading

Essential DC, Interviews, Life in the Capital, Sports Fix, The Features

Sports Extra: Capitals Hockey 2009-10 Season Preview

Photo courtesy of
‘Net Lit In Red’
courtesy of ‘clydeorama’

Ok DC, ready for a real sport, now that the Redskins have imploded, the United tanked and the Nats…well, they’re the Nats. Anyway, are you ready for some hockey?

The Washington Capitals open up their season tomorrow night in Boston against the Bruins, the first step in their 2009-10 quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Last season saw the Caps suffer the most ignominious of falls, crashing in a critical Game 7 against the eventual Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Even more galling to Caps fans was the fact that the Caps led that series 2-0 before running out of gas.

Will this year be any better?

It depends.

While I’m sure a few of you actually care what I think about the Caps this year, most people I’ve talked with casually about hockey are skeptical of my Capitals analysis, considering I’m a Penguins fan at heart. Never mind the fact that last year, I was only two wins off predicting their season record and correctly predicted their playoff exit. So rather than take flak again this year, I turned to ESPN’s John Buccigross for his invaluable insight. (And for the record, Bucci picked the Flyers to win the Cup this year. That’s right, Philly. But we won’t hold that against him.)

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