Photo by Clyde Caplan, clydeorama.com
Previous season’s match ups:
|Game 1 (11/17/11)||Game 2 (11/23/11)||Game 3 (12/15/11)||Game 4 (2/9/12)||Game 5 (3/16/12)||Game 6 (3/23/12)|
|@ Jets||vs Jets||@ Jets||vs Jets||@ Jets||vs Jets|
|Loss: 4-1||OT Win: 4-3||Win: 1-0||SO Loss: 3-2||Loss: 3-2||OT Loss: 4-3|
After dropping game one of the season Saturday night in Tampa Bay, the Washington Capitals aim to even out their overall season record with a win at home against the visiting divisional opponent Winnipeg Jets. However, the Caps won’t be the only team in this game searching for their first win of the season. Winnipeg already has two losses in as many games played, the first coming on Saturday in Winnipeg against the visiting Ottawa Senators and the second coming just last night in Boston against the Bruins in a shootout. Despite looking very rusty on Saturday in Tampa Bay, the Capitals should have a bit of an upper hand on the Jets seeing as this is the Jets’ second road game in two days, not to mention the Caps will surely have a soldout Verizon Center rocking the red in their favor.
We all remember how great Holtby was last postseason, but is he the real deal? Honestly, I’m not sold.
Remember that time that a young Russian netminder by the name of Semyon Varlamov came up from Hershey to bail out the Caps in a best of seven series in the first round of the playoffs against the New York Rangers? If so, then remember how the Caps eventually lost game seven in round two of the playoffs to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins?
Or how about that time that a promising young goaltender by the name of Michal Neuvirth earned a full time roster spot with the Caps after coming off of winning back-to-back Calder Cup championships in the AHL, even winning playoff MVP one of those years? Yeah, the one that, like Varlamov, helped the Caps eliminate the Rangers in round one of the playoffs. Then, again similarly to Varlamov, Neuvy and the Caps were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs after they were swept, repeat SWEPT, by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Wasting no time following the official end of the 2011-2012 season, the Washington Capitals have announced their preseason schedule for the 2012-2013 season.
The Caps will play seven games against four different opposing teams. Three of these games will be played at home in the Verizon Center and one will be another “home game” in Baltimore’s First Mariner Arena as part of the second annual Baltimore Hockey Classic. The other three will be on the road.
The four teams that the Capitals will faceoff against in the preseason this year are the Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, and Nashville Predators.
Shortly after I angrily turned off my TV after the Capitals heartbreaking Game 5 loss, I came to a scary realization.
Championship teams don’t give up the lead with only a few seconds left in the game, even if they’re being outmanned 6 to 4. Further, championship teams will somehow find a way to tie up games, even when there’s only a matter of seconds left.
Game over. Series over. Season over. See ya next year.
But wait, don’t jump to conclusions just yet.
With their Game 7 win on Thursday night, the New York Rangers secured a spot in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. As the 1st seed, the Rangers will face the lowest seeded team left in the East: your Washington Capitals.
My oh my, things have changed, haven’t they? Isn’t it usually the Caps with the 1st seed and the Rangers with the 7th or 8th seed?
Now that Game 1 is over, the Playoffs have officially started and the jitters and butterflies are hopefully gone for good.
While Game 1 ended up being a loss for the Caps, I still feel like it was a win for the Caps mentally. After the shakey season they just finished, it would have been more than easy to go into enemy territory and get rocked by the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. Instead, the Caps stood strongly, even when short handed on three different occasions, and battled this one out right through the end of regulation and into overtime.
I hate to make excuses, but with the circumstances of this particular Game 1, the chances of the home team losing a game like that are very low. What more can you ask of the Caps? All it really came down to was one shot.
Well then again, there actually might be a few thinks that you could ask for more of from the Caps.
The video above best describes my current emotions regarding everything Caps related.
In past few years, the Capitals have always been a strong favorite to win the Stanley Cup. However, based off almost every Round 1 preview that I’ve read, it appears that most people have given up on the Caps.
I hate to admit it, but it’s hard to disagree with the critics. The Caps have had a terrible regular season, not to mention that their recent record in the postseason isn’t much better. On top of that, the Caps are being forced to start a rookie goaltender against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. Why even consider the idea of the Capitals beating out the Bruins?
After a stunning 4-1 victory Saturday night in New York’s Madison Square Garden, the Washington Capitals have thrusted themselves into the Eastern Conference’s 7th seed for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. As a result, the Caps will faceoff against the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. A bit different from years past though, the Capitals will not have home ice advantage for this series.
Taking a look back at the regular season, the Capitals were 3-1 when facing the Bruins, with one of those wins being a shootout win. Also interesting to note, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin missed one of the four meetings between these two teams, Mike Green missed two of four, and Nicklas Backstrom missed all four. You’ve gotta believe that if the Caps were still able to win the season series when missing such key players like Ovechkin, Green, and Backstrom that they will only do better with all three in the lineup.
No doubt, beating the Bruins will be no easy task. Though, winning the Stanley Cup is anything but easy.