There’s an Elephant in the Room

(Image: sportsstore.usatoday.com)

There’s no denying it, the Caps are not playing as well as they should be. Some, or most, would say they are flat out bad. To address this, a coaching change was made, but results in the W/L column have yet to drastically change. With the team nearing the halfway point in the season, it’s hard not to get a bit worried. And as Alex Ovechkin (hopefully) learned last year, you can’t just barely get by for the majority of the season and then decide to actually start playing when it matters most. Do Caps fans have something to worry about when looking at the long run?

The season is almost halfway over and the Washington Capitals are currently 11th place in the Eastern Conference, making it so that if the season ended today, they would not be in the playoffs. Jason Chimera leads the team in goals with 13. Yes, that means that Chimera has more goals then Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin, etc. Blood pressure rising yet?

Out of the seven teams that were out of playoff contention in the East on this day one year ago, only one of them, the 12th place Buffalo Sabres, was able to fight back and eventually clinch a playoff spot. Good news for Caps fans, on that day, the Sabres had only 32 points in 35 games played. Today, the 11th place Caps have 36 points in only 34 games played. But yeah, uh…I guess I should also mention the Sabres were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

Let’s be honest, it’s a bit alarming and scary that the Caps are currently in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. For the past four seasons, the Caps have finished third or higher in the East. And for two of those seasons, they finished first. Why are they in 11th now?

First things first, only four points separate places 6 through 11. And out of the five teams in these places, only two of them made the playoffs last year, the Caps and the Sabres. Relatively anything can happen. For example, this time two years ago, the Flyers were in 13th place and still managed to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals…but lost. But yeah, about that Stanley Cup thing…

Out of the past three Stanley Cup Champions, all three were already the 8th seed or higher on this date during the season of their respective Stanley Cup runs. On this date one year ago, Boston was in 8th place in the East with 40 points in only 33 games played. Two years ago today, the Chicago Blackhawks lead the Western Conference with 53 points in 37 games played. Finally, three years ago today, the Pittsburgh Penguins were in 6th place in the East with 42 points in 35 games played. Ugh.

Stats like these should not come as a surprise to anyone. The Caps are not playing up to their potential and they’re paying for it on the scoreboard, in the standings, and now hopefully with their fans.

Should fans be worried? I’ll let you be the judge of that. Leave us a comment bellow with your thoughts and opinions.

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Posted on December 27, 2011, in Banter from the Nosebleeds and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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