Bad Weekend Puts Caps Behind the 8 Ball

March 10, 2013 | Ed Frankovic

Just when it looked like the Caps had worked themselves back into the playoff discussion, they come out and lay a total egg on the weekend.

Back to back three goal defeats to the New York Islanders and New York Rangers drop Washington to 10-13-1 and in a major standings hole at the mid point of this lockout shortened 48 game season.

It was a disappointing pair of games at a time when they needed their star players to step up, but the Capitals got very poor performances from both Alex Ovechkin (-5) and Mike Ribeiro (-4). Neither player registered a single point in the two games and each took an untimely penalty (a double minor in Ribeiro’s case). They both received a lot of ice time but their hockey focus and effort were downright terrible. To sum it up, you can pretty much hang these two losses on those two players.

Washington continues to play without Brooks Laich up front and Mike Green’s groin injury forced him out of the lineup for both weekend tilts. As a result the Caps power play, which was on fire early on, is struggling big time. Not having #52 is a big part of that as he is the team’s best point passer. Yes, John Carlson has a good shot but time after time #74’s passes are off the mark, and he is getting good at putting the biscuit into the skates of Ovechkin for his patented one timer. In the skates is not the place those feeds need to be.

So now the Caps face a daunting task. They are eight points out of the division lead with 24 games to go, however, they get the Southeast leaders, the Carolina Hurricanes, in their next two contests. These are must wins for Washington on Tuesday and Thursday if they want to stay in the playoff hunt.

If they get swept by Carolina, then management has some hard decisions to make, none more important as keeping or trading unrestricted free agent Ribeiro by the April 3rd deadline. If #9 plays like he did this weekend, the decision is pretty easy.

Bottom line though, the Caps put their playoff chances behind the eight ball with their two listless performances against the Islanders and the Rangers.

Notes: Philip Grubauer made his NHL debut and received the loss on Saturday. He played okay but turnovers and bad penalties cost the Caps that game…the best lines in that contest were the 3rd and 4th units…on Sunday, the Caps played a solid first 10 minutes but Braden Holtby gave up a bad goal and then the Rangers took over. The Rags have a very good team and are Cup contenders, in my book…Nicklas Backstrom was 14-0 on faceoffs against the Rangers…Steve Oleksy scored his first NHL goal on Sunday. The 27 year old d-man was one of the few weekend positives.



4 Comments For This Post

  1. eric s Says:

    does Mike Ribeiro really care about the capitals or is he just collecting a paycheck?he has the points but does ovie like playing with him?what did ovie think about big mouth brouwers BS about semin?to me these new “non-caps” think they know how to win but it doesnt seem to be working?did brouwer not realize semin is really good friends with ovie and a number of other life-long caps players?something isnt right with this team.if you put semin on this team and take off ribeiro are they losing this much?i dont think so.ever since GMGM started getting rid of russians things have been all down hill.maybe he should trade ovie as well.the great 8 doesnt seem to be very happy right now.oh and i’m sick and tired of hearing about the caps system,like bruces didnt work.wake up people his system worked in hershey,DC,anaheim and every other place he has coached.firing bruce will always be looked at as the nail in the coffin of the great capital resurgence.sorry for the rant but just a year ago it was fun to watch the caps play.Carolina are going to be fired up to bury the caps for good and to be honest i hope semin goes gretzky on them.

  2. Dave Says:

    It’s all over but the crying.

    Please Ed, be bold. Call for the immediate firing of the Teflon GM.

    George, gone.
    Ribeiro, gone.
    Green, gone.
    Schultz, gone (God willing).

  3. Tim Says:

    Game over. Blow this thing up and start over next year. Too much to overcome w/ a short season, bad start, and a new coach.

  4. richard Says:

    Hi Ed,
    It has been a while.Hope all is well. A sad partof this whole Cap situation is there is really very little, if any, on a very pedestrian and veteran Hershey club(maybe the most boring I have ever watched). Cameron Schilling has had his moments,but everyone else is probably a career minor leaguer. A few prospects like Galliev, proved they were not ready for Hershey.
    The Bears can not score and consequently have trouble winning. This has been a frustrating year for Bear fans,although they may become only the 2nd team to avrage 10000 in a year.They are in the playoff hunt but only have 5 home games left(actually 500 at home)and 11 road games. We shall see. (Note from Ed: Good to hear from you Richard! Tough year for the organization with so many injuries. Grubauer has to be fun to watch and if the team can make the playoffs, perhaps Forsberg is over for them?)

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