Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Panthers 6 - Capitals 5 (SO): Word of the Day...


The Capitals made a gallant effort last night after their 3rd ranked scorer, their injury-prone, yet savy vet and their #4 defenseman at the trade deadline.
Now team's 5th ranked scorer, #6 defenseman and still injury-prone vet.
Washington fell behind early, but then rallied back and tied the game at 5-5 to force the game into overtime. The game was still tied after 65 minutes of play. Then came the shootout.
Oh boy...
For those of you unaware, before last nights game, the Capitals were 1-8 in the shootouts this year. They had scored 4 goals on 27 shots and had the second worst save percentage of any team in the shootout (.444)
Wow, the odds are really against us aren't they?
But, miraculously, they were facing a team almost as bad as the Caps in that regard.
Florida was a puny 1-7 in the shootout, who had only scored 6 goals on 32 shots and a .541 save percentage.
It's like looking in a mirror, isn't it?
But alas, the Capitals once again fell short. They lost their 9th of 10 shootouts on the season. If these were real shootouts like those of the old West, the Capitals would be known as the "slowest hands in the West."
Alex Ovechkin is keeled over bleeding on that haystack.
The fact is that the Capitals have been bad in the shootout all year. Glen Hanlon has been having the team practice and juggling lineups to see who can score, but nothing seems to have worked. The fact is, the shootout is where our lack of talent is most evident. When you have Matt Pettinger and Chris Clark filling that third and crucial slot, you realize just how paper thin your team is. They cannot depend on Ovechkin and Semin to do all the scoring. This is where the need for a skilled center is most apparent.
Please be Backstrom...please be Backstrom.
Do you realize that if the Capitals had won even half of their shootouts (5 wins would actually be more than the league median, but they've had 10 shootouts) the Capitals would be a .500 team and within striking distance of that 8th spot in the East.
Shot in the foot by not shooting well? The irony!
This summer, the necessity for a skilled player who can give us a solid threesome in the shootout could bump us, if not over the edge, closer to it. We already have Ovechkin
Yeah I know he's only scored 1 goal in the shootout, don't get jumpy. It's a slump folks!
and Semin in the lineup. Those two are proven skill players. One more, and a better performance from our goaltending could lift us up into the top echelons of shootout teams. But George McPhee and Ted Leonsis have been reluctant to go out and get players that our team needs.
Like players who other teams would put on their NHL roster...
So this offseason, I know what's on my wish list.
1. Invisibility
2. #1 and #2 defensemen, #1 center, young goaltender
3. World peace
Most of all, I wanted a skilled player who can play the top line with Ovechkin, and has a quick trigger.
And that's the word of the day...


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