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Lanky Livingston
03-29-10, 01:36 PM
...a NJ Devil's loss on Sunday. Not ideal, as you want the team to take #1 overall instead of having it given to them, but they did win 49 games. The team lost pretty badly on Sunday, giving up 4 goals in the first period and eventually losing 5-3 to the Flames.

It seems as if the team is in cruise-control mode until the playoffs...hopefully it doesn't take opening their first round series 0-2 to wake up this time! I think the team is more mature, and will be able to turn it up for the beginning of the playoffs. Another problem was the absence of Brooks Laich - he's a garbage man on the 2nd line, cleans up pucks, crashes the net. That was a huge part of what was missing on Sunday. Brooks should return by the end of the week.

the Omniscient
03-29-10, 06:20 PM
I am a little worried about the playoffs right now. I hope they are not going into cruise control, although I think they are. I think it is hard for teams just to snap out of the cruise control attitude and start playing tough.

I think they will have a hard time in the playoffs anyways with their horrible PK teams. I think that will be our downfall.

Lanky Livingston
03-30-10, 01:12 AM
I am a little worried about the playoffs right now. I hope they are not going into cruise control, although I think they are. I think it is hard for teams just to snap out of the cruise control attitude and start playing tough.

I think they will have a hard time in the playoffs anyways with their horrible PK teams. I think that will be our downfall.

I agree, but thankfully we will have home ice until at least the Finals if we make it that far. Our PK is drastically better at home; 84.3% vs. 74.4%. This ranks 9th overall! Our home power-play is also 1.1% higher than our already league-leading 25.8% PP. Exhibit A of why home ice is important.

I think they are in cruise-control right now, but I don't believe it will be hard for them to snap out of it. The team has one goal - winning the Cup. Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom especially want to bring home the hardware after leaving Vancouver empty-handed. Backstrom especially is playing very well of late, as is Semin. Ovechkin is slumping, but honestly, how long can that last? He's not the best player in the universe for nothing.

Lanky Livingston
03-30-10, 10:02 AM
Forgot to mention: Caps clinched the Eastern Conference for the FIRST TIME IN FRANCHISE HISTORY!

Hog Fever
03-30-10, 10:14 AM
This is easily the best Capitals team I have ever seen, and I go way back with this team. The only thing giving me any worry going into the playoff is our goal-tending. That’s not to say that Theodore and Varlamov are bad players, I just see them as the only weak link in the chain. How many times have we seen a goalkeeper get hot and carry his team through the playoffs?

CarolinaSkin43
03-30-10, 03:32 PM
Go Caps......!!! Have not been to see the Caps since the ol Capital center.....Congrats and looking forward to the stanly cup playoffs.

Lanky Livingston
03-30-10, 03:57 PM
More on cruise-control:


For the Caps, It's 'Bring on the Playoffs'

The Capitals area having a phenomenal regular season, just about any way you want to look at it: they have the top spot in the Eastern Conference locked up, they're more than thirty points ahead of anyone in their division, on the cusp of fifty wins, carrying a better than a goal-per-game goal differential, and scoring more than 19% more often than any other NHL team. To top it off, a number of guys have either hit career highs in production, or could in the remaining handful of games. All that said, the team's recent play, especially against Carolina and Calgary, has been, um, lacking, to put it politely, which can cause a little anxiety even for the most level-headed fan.

With that in mind - and with reference to the same Empty Netters post that led to Red Birdie's Fan Post - we thought we'd take a look at how the Capitals have fared against potential playoff competition, both in the Eastern and Western Conference. Naturally, it makes sense to turn our attention first to the East. Here's what we get:

Team Record Points GF/G GA/G
Penguins 3-0-0 6 (1.000) 5.0 3.33
Sabres 3-1-0 6 (.750) 2.5 1.5
Devils 1-2-1 3 (.375) 2.5 2.75
Senators 1-1-1 3 (.500) 4.33 4.0
Flyers 3-0-1 7 (.875) 5.5 3.0
Canadiens 2-1-1 5 (.625) 3.5 3.25
Bruins 2-0-0 4 (1.000) 4.0 1.0
Thrashers 4-0-0 8 (1.000) 5.5 2.5
East 19-5-4 42 (.750) 4.07 2.71

This table can summarized in one very telling word: dominance. The numbers are simply astonishing: the Caps have won 19 of 28 games, taken three-quarters of the possible standings points, and outscored their opponents by well over a goal per game. And while you have to be careful when you're looking at the numbers, it's not as if the Capitals are getting fat off weak opposition or gimmicky rules: the Capitals have a losing record against only one of their potential Eastern Conference foes, and only two of the team's 17 wins have come via the shootout. Like we said: dominance.

Click link (http://www.japersrink.com/2010/3/30/1396868/for-the-caps-its-bring-on-the) for the rest of the article.

Lanky Livingston
03-30-10, 04:00 PM
This is easily the best Capitals team I have ever seen, and I go way back with this team. The only thing giving me any worry going into the playoff is our goal-tending. Thatís not to say that Theodore and Varlamov are bad players, I just see them as the only weak link in the chain. How many times have we seen a goalkeeper get hot and carry his team through the playoffs?

Yeah...I think we either need Semin to dominate the playoffs like he can (read: not disappear for games at a time), or Jose to step up to the plate and dominate the net. Either that, or call-up Neuvy again. I hate to say it, but at this point, Varlamov is just not looking hot. He's got some fundamental issues he needs to fix, primarily once he lets in the first goal, he tends to get depressed or something and the flood gates open. He needs to lock it up!

If Ovie and Semin are clicking on all cylinders, and our supporting cast are playing well, I'm not really sure goaltending matters - at least in the Eastern Conference. We'll simply outscore everyone.

the Omniscient
03-30-10, 04:53 PM
With the exception of Sunday's debacle, Theodore has been great lately. All you need is a hot goalie to get you through. As far as Varly is concerned, I have never liked him. He seems to take a lot of bad angles and I honestly think he should get his eyes checked. He seems to have such a hard time with slap shots from the top of the circles. Maybe that is just my perception, but I would like to see his stats against those. I think Neuvy will have the better future.

Defenses will be ramped up come playoff time. It will be a lot harder to score in the playoffs than it is now. I worry about a team like the Devils, who have a great defense and now have Kovalchuk to help on offense and we always choke against the Penguins.

For the most part the great 8 hasn't looked so great since the olympics in my opinion. I hope he turns it on soon.

I saw a stat soemwhere and it said something similar to this: In the last 30 years the team that has won the President's Trophy has only one the Stanley Cup 7 times.

Lanky Livingston
03-30-10, 06:23 PM
With the exception of Sunday's debacle, Theodore has been great lately. All you need is a hot goalie to get you through. As far as Varly is concerned, I have never liked him. He seems to take a lot of bad angles and I honestly think he should get his eyes checked. He seems to have such a hard time with slap shots from the top of the circles. Maybe that is just my perception, but I would like to see his stats against those. I think Neuvy will have the better future.

Theo has been outstanding. He is 17-0-2, 2.47 GAA and .924 GAA in his last 20 games, and 7-0-0, 2.0 GAA and .937 SV% in his last 7 before Sunday. Thankfully he was pulled before he became the goalie of record against Calgary.



Defenses will be ramped up come playoff time. It will be a lot harder to score in the playoffs than it is now. I worry about a team like the Devils, who have a great defense and now have Kovalchuk to help on offense and we always choke against the Penguins.

True, but so will ours. And this year, we won't have an injured Mike Green taking up space out there. :furiously knocking on wood: Also, it looks like Carlson is up for the playoff run - it will be great to see what Captain America does in the playoffs, and how he steps up his game.


For the most part the great 8 hasn't looked so great since the olympics in my opinion. I hope he turns it on soon.

Again, some of this might be Olympic hangover, but I think mostly its because he's in cruise-control. I don't think there will be any problem with the Russian machine come playoff time.


I saw a stat soemwhere and it said something similar to this: In the last 30 years the team that has won the President's Trophy has only one the Stanley Cup 7 times.

Eh...I'll take a 25% chance at the Cup. And we haven't won the President's Trophy yet! :)

Lanky Livingston
03-30-10, 06:36 PM
I googled it, since I was curious - the President's trophy has only been around since 1985-86, and since then, 23 seasons have been played, with the President's Trophy winning the Cup 7 times, and appearing in the Finals 9 times. That's a 39% chance of appearing, and a 30.5% chance of winning. I'll take them odds. :)

Lanky Livingston
03-31-10, 11:42 AM
So as soon as I praise the home-ice PK, they let in 3 goals last night. Balls.

I thought the tripping call on Backstrom with 30 seconds left should not have been called - seemed like he was playing the puck. Plus, 30 seconds left? How do you call that??

Lanky Livingston
04-05-10, 09:58 AM
Caps clinched the President's Trophy last night with a San Jose Sharks loss in OT to the Colorado Avalanche. Congrats to the team!

Personally, I was hoping the Sharks would win last night, so that the President's Trophy would be on the line tonight (I'm going to the game).