I Hate Pittsburgh

Once again the Capitals played a solid game defensively and once again, the guys on offense let them down. The Caps have now scored just 17 goals in their last nine games (an average of 1.89 goals per game) since a 7-3 win over the Hurricanes on January 27. They are 2-5-2 over that stretch. For all the early-season talk of how much the defense needed to improve, it is incredibly frustrating watching them hold Sidney Crosby in check yet again yet still fail to convert it into any points in the standings. What's worse is I can't even figure out exactly what is wrong with this team's offense (Okay, that's not true, the problem is that the Alexes are slumping and the Power Play is for shit. But how do you fix that?) At this point, I really don't see them turning it around, which means the Caps are likely to finish at or below where they finished last year in terms of the standings.

As for the game itself, I thought the Caps, at the very least, played it dead even with the Penguins. The problem is, when one team is hot and the other is slumping, guess which team is going to get the lucky bounces that decide close games? I give Evgeni Malkin a ton of credit on his goal late in the second period because it was a fantastic shot to the top corner from a bad angle, but I doubt he could do that again if you gave him fifty tries. Likewise, when Alexander Semin beats a goalie that badly, 99 times out of 100 the puck ends up under the crossbar (his overtime game winner against Atlanta being the best example of that) instead of ringing off of it. Once again, if this loss were an isolated incident, everybody involved would simply shrug and say "It just wasn't our night." Unfortunately for the Caps, it hasn't been their night in quite a long time.

Recaps From People That Matter:
-Bleatings From a Caps Nut
-Off Wing Opinion (1st Period, 2nd Period, 3rd Period)
-Puckhead's Thoughts

Caps Bloggers Happy Hour Version 3.0:
Once again, the Caps Bloggers Happy Hour was a roaring success. Which is good, because for a while there it looked like the whole thing was going to consist of me sitting in a corner by myself. The attendees this time around included yours truly, Mr. and Mrs. DC Sports Chick, A View From the Cheap Seats (plus guest), Capital Fanatic (plus guest), and Gustafsson (plus Mrs. Gustafsson and Gustafsson Jr.) and pucksandbooks from On Frozen Blog. We also had some verious non-Caps bloggers show up: William F. Yurasko (and guest) who was joining us for a second time, as well as Ah, Bugger and As Smooth as Sandpaper. Which brings the grand total of attendees to... fifteen! For those of you who are keeping count, that is a 50% increase over v.2.0. I bet you feel really stupid for not showing up, don't you? But don't worry, you have one more chance when the CBHH will be taking over the Grand Slam Sports Bar in the Grand Hyatt downtown at 10th & H St, NW on March 12. If you miss that one, you'll never forgive yourself.

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