Last Two Weeks: 5-1-1
Place: Won the Southeast Division, 1st in the East
What a team. I think the best reduction of the Caps’ season into a single game came against the Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon. If you didn’t like that game, well, you just plain don’t love hockey. The Caps came out hard-charging, and it cost them. Alex Ovechkin sent the ‘hawks’ Brian Campbell into the boards head-first about halfway through the first and drew a five-minute major that turned into a game misconduct, followed shortly thereafter by Alexander Semin charging the Blackhawks goalie Niemi. Suddenly, it was 5 on 3, and the Caps ended up down 2-0. With Ovechkin out, and a two-goal deficit against the Blackhawks, it wasn’t looking good. The game dragged.
It wasn’t til the third period that the Caps offense awoke, but once it did, it was flurry of furious skating and shooting. The Caps struck hard and fast, scoring three times in just under two and a half minutes. Having fought back for the tie, they went into overtime with all the momentum. The Caps’ Nicklas Backstrom would come up big for the Red at just past the halfway mark in the overtime period, reflecting a missed shot back under Niemi’s knees and in for the win.
Was it pretty? No. Did it matter? No. The Caps are a strong team even without Alex Ovechkin, but tonight it was their mistakes that cost them a couple goals early. They were able to capitalize on their opportunities, though, which is a strength I’d rather see than a flawless defense. The Caps have just seven more games at the Phone Booth before the playoffs start. Catch ’em while you can.
Last Two Weeks: 0-7
Place: Last in the Southeast
I’d write about the Wizards, but really, there’s nothing more to say that hasn’t been said. I’d bring up the quote that when all that’s left is the fall, it matters much how it happens, but the Wizards fell so long ago that no matter what happens the rest of the season, it’s highly unlikely to change the tenor of the season as a whole. Sorry basketball fans. There’s always next year?
Oh right, nearly forget about that. Unless you’re a total recluse, you know by now that the brackets are out, and it’s time to prepare your office pool. But Tom, you say, I know nothing about college hoops! That’s totally fine. Chances are? Most of your coworkers are guessing too. So here’s the rundown of the local schools in the Mix.
Georgetown: 3rd in the Midwest. Prognosis? Sweet Sixteen, no problem. Elite Eight? Could be.
Maryland: 4th in the Midwest. Prognosis? Sweet Sixteen, only to be clubbed to death like baby seals by the unstoppable juggernaut that is Kansas.
Old Dominion: 11th in the South. Prognosis? Well. Hm. I’d say it’s a 40% chance they top Notre Dame and make it to the round of 32. Don’t hold your breath.
Richmond: 7th ion the South. Prognosis? Round of 32. They should handily despatch the Gaels in the first round.
Last Two Weeks: 0-10
Let’s just say it’s a good thing that Spring Training records get scrubbed out. The Nats’ offense hasn’t found their stride yet, and the problems on the mound, His Holiness The Strasburg not withstanding, are all about control and discipline. Strasburg’s scoreless innings streak continues, with 3 shutout innings on Sunday against St Louis. We’re still three weeks from opening day, and the roster cuts have only just begun, but at this rate, you’d be hard pressed to see the Nats send Strasburg to AA.