I have a pain in my left wrist, had it since Monday and I'm not sure how I got it. But it's not nearly as annoying or frustrating or making me half as ticked off as the pain I'm getting from watching the Washington Capitals play last night.
All this team can do is make you wonder. Wonder why they can't win the games they're supposed to win. Wonder how they can play three or four decent games then throw up an absolute stinker of a game like last night's effort. Wonder how this team will ever live up to their potential if they can never EVER put together a solid 60-minute effort. Wonder how they can still have the nerve to call themselves a hockey club.
Let's break things down by concepts and facts: (bear with me, my hockey sarcasm is at an all time high today!)
Concept: You give one of the best road power plays six chances and they will convert at least once.
Fact: The Islanders did indeed get that many chances and converted not once but twice--more than they needed to win.
Concept: You shoot the puck enough times after creating a scoring chance eventually the goals will come.
Fact: The Caps spent waaaaaaaaaaay too much freaking time trying to create scoring chances and not enough time shooting. Result = a pathetic 17 shots on net and 0 goals.
None of this is anything new of course to anyone who saw the game, but you get the idea. My good friend Bryan told me he got so frustrated he flipped over to the Australian Open. I tell you what--with the possible exception of Matt Hendricks (7 hits), there was probably a hell of a lot more hitting going on there!
Going back to the issue of the shooting, let's break it down by period. The Caps' shot totals were 5 in the first and second each, then seven in the third. Like I said, pathetic. Going the other way it was yet another popcorn-tossing few moments of watching the Caps get pinned in their own zone (sound familiar) for an entire shift. Now there was a sequence in the second where the Caps turned the tables and kept the Islanders in their zone until they ran out of gas. And they STILL barely produced a shot on goal.
And that's when the boos came a-raining down. Deservedly so. These are some of the reasons why:
Dmitry Orlov's cross-ice pass to...nobody. What the hell?
Real American Hero John Carlson is becoming a Really Awful Hole of a defenseman. Speaking of which, how about leaving the goaltending to the man in the mask? He practically screened his own goalie on the third goal!
Alex Semin--17 shifts, 17:27 TOI and a whopping total of one shot on goal. Not just Bad Sasha, more like Pathetic Sasha.
Marcus Johansson won half his faceoffs. Not bad. Except he forgot that the play continues after the draw. ZERO SHOTS!
Even reliable Joel Ward stunk it up, and he barely had 10 minutes of ice time.
Hell, if we were in Kindergarten again the whole damn team would get a collective Mr. Yuk sticker.
Well, there was Brooks Laich who turned himself into a human shot-blocking machine. But not even he can do it all.
Again, the obvious fact is that they had a chance to get at least another two points. It would have been acceptable had they failed and played hard, but they only succeeded in failing miserably. It's games like this that frustrate the bejeezus out of even the most die-hard Caps fan. How is this team supposed to succeed if they can't string together more than a few good games at a time? No wonder they got booed off the ice!
We can talk about nice things like CORSI ratings, Fenwick, zone starts, and Quality of Competition. And even if you aren't the biggest stat geek, a cursory look at some of the numbers (shots especially) will tell the tale that they're just not getting it done. But it doesn't tell the whole story. What the hell is it about this team where they can look like world beaters one night and then sleepwalk through the next game? THAT, ladies and gentlemen is what makes us fans angry about this times. Sometimes. But I suppose that's one reason why I have this blog.....
By the way, if you want something else to be angry about, read up on the SOPA and PIPA bills. If you're a blogger like me you should be against them like me. But don't take my word for it--read about it yourself, while the government doesn't have its clutches on the internet.
Oh that's right--if you try to access Wikipedia today, you won't be able to. Just a small sample of what would happen if the US government has its way with the internet.
Great. Something else that gets screwed up in D.C.