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Monday, May 2, 2011

Margin of Error Exhausted vs. Tampa

This has been a busy week for the Caps Degenerate from a personal standpoint.

It has also apparently been a busy night for our country, with President Obama announcing the death of Osama bin Laden.

So, blogging has taken a backseat over the last few days.

That said, the hockey has continued. I'm still a little upset they didn't postpone the games and make sure I was ready to go :).  I keed, I keed.

As we all know, the Caps lost Games 1 and 2 at home to Tampa Bay. The season could be over by Wednesday.

Then again, in 2003, the Caps won Games 1 and 2 against Tampa Bay on the road -- only to drop the next four and lose the series.

So, maybe this weekend just sets up some Triple-OT goal the Caps will score in Game 6 to end the series. You never know, right?

Thus we try and explain the mood that I'm in following the pair of losses handed to us by the Lightning.

I obviously hate losing. The Caps have taken stretches of each game off -- and that is unacceptable. And our power play sucks. I mean, it's just horrendous.

I honestly think the Caps would be better off declining the man-advantage whenever a penalty is called on the Lightning. Can they do that? They should!

You also have to give credit where credit is due. The Lightning have established a maddeningly smart pattern of playing just enough defense and getting (much more than enough) goaltending to keep the Caps from opening the scoring floodgates.

Then, they come down the ice - and they use their finishers to finish. I don't think Neuvy is playing all that bad.

But, Tampa is getting goals from their goal scorers -- or the Capitals defensemen. And they are scoring with less effort than the Caps.      

At the end of the day, that makes a huge difference. Tampa is capitalizing on its chances, Washington is not.

So, there is some luck involved - and there are some tangible reasons why the Lightning are up on the Caps 2 games to 0.

I think the good news is that without question -- the Caps are the better team in this series. And if they tighten up their game a little bit and finish their chances, they very well could win this series in 6 games.

The Caps still should win the series in 6, in my humble opinion. But, emphasis on "should" (not "will").

The Caps also very well could be telling the starter at the first tee on Thursday morning that they were clearly a better team than Tampa.

Where does that get the franchise?

My friend, who was kind enough to let me watch on his HDTV, asked me if Bruce Boudreau gets shitcanned if the Caps lose this series.

I said probably not. I don't think there is any shame in losing to this Tampa team. I think Stevie Y. is a genius and the Lightning are going to be contenders for years to come -- including this year.

But really, the window is closing. The Caps reign over the SE division is coming to a close (see Tampa). And so far, all this reign has gotten the Caps is two trips to the second round.

Maybe this year is better than last year. But, it's still not enough.

Which is why the Caps have to get back in this series before it actually is over.

Whatever urgency the team has played with needs to be quadrupled. Fuck next year. Fuck thinking long-term. Now's the fucking time.

The Caps have to act like the world ends in July and this is their last chance to win the Stanley Cup. They need to kick the shit out of Tampa in Game 3.

Not just win. Send a powerful message.

This series is by no means over yet. The Caps can and should win the series in 6.

But will the Caps make it happen?

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