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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Digging Deep in D.C.

What? Over? Did you say 'over'?  Nothing is over until we decide it is!  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!  And it ain't over now.  'Cause when the goin' gets tough....the tough get goin'! Who's with me?  Let's go!
--Animal House

They say: "there's 30 games left, plenty of time to come back and win this thing."  I say different.  The time is now.  You better believe the time is now.  When the hell else are we going to start the playoff run?  Panic button?  Nope.  Not at all.  But it is about damn time this time adopted a "battle stations" mentality for once.  As opposed to coasting through the season thinking half the league would roll over.

If you think all this is cutting too deep and nowhere on target, stop reading now.  Because nothing can be further from the truth.  We as fans of this hockey team have to ask just one thing: When are the Washington Capitals going to look into the mirror, be truly disgusted with their results, and do something about it?  If they want to make the playoffs this year the answer is simple--right the hell now.

If you listen closely you can hear the sound of footsteps getting louder from behind.  That would be Winnipeg and Tampa Bay smelling blood and close to catching the Caps.  If you listen even closer, you can hear the sound of footsteps fading away.  That would be Florida, Toronto, and Ottawa putting some distance between the Caps and themselves.

The next game is tonight and it's a classic four-pointer against Florida. This year's Panthers have not been pushovers at all.  Still they can, and have been, beaten.  Brooks Laich may have a go...and then again he may not. Conventional wisdom would dictate that, just to be on the safe side, they hold out Brooks to give him more time to heal.  I think we all know better.  I have said many things about Brooks Laich, but one thing I will never question is his desire.  He's one of those guys with the fire in his belly that will never quit.  Still, an ankle injury is nothing to take chances with.

Getting back to the bigger picture, stats are one thing and the most damning number as of late would be the average shots on goal figures per game.  Of course, they outshot the opposition in the last game and it did them absolutely no good whatsoever.  Even so, it all comes down to a matter of creating quality chances and converting them.  In short, equal parts skill and will.  The skill to find and create chances, the will to fight your way to the net when necessary.  And it is often necessary.  The Caps still have the skill, but have often lack the will to execute.  It is THAT side of the team to which I'm appealing to now.  I'm not alone.  Or at least I hope I'm not.

It's not too late for the Caps to get back in this race.  But it might be if they blow off every other game.

The time is now.  Start the playoff run.


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