Are the Capitals Waiting tor the Playoffs or are they Already Done?

Renee PerronContributor IMarch 31, 2010

WASHINGTON - MARCH 30:  Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators scores a goal in the first period as Mike Fisher #12 is pushed into Jose Theodore #60 by Shaone Morrisonn #26 of the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on March 30, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

I don't think any Caps fans were happy last night. Only a few minutes into the first period, the Caps were already trailing the Ottawa Senators, and by the end of the first period, it was 3-1 Ottawa.   The Caps had only 4 shots on goal in the first period, shocking for the offense-dominated team that usually averages over 30 shots per game.

Let's face it: it didn't look pretty.

By the end of the game, it looked like things were picking up, and the Caps entered overtime with the scoreboard reading 4-4. 

However, they lost it all in overtime again after Nicklas Backstrom was pulled off the ice for a tripping penalty. One man down, the Caps were seemingly easily overtaken by the Senators, who played some solid hockey.

What worries me is not last night, but next month. The Senators represent the talent that the Capitals will be facing in the playoffs. Although the Caps have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, they don't seem to be gearing up for the Stanley Cup. 

Last night, the team looked disorganized. Even in the best moments of the game, they looked a little frazzled, as if they were simply throwing plays together. Most worrisome was the goal tending. Even Coach Bruce Boudreau described the goal tending as "iffy"

Starting goalie Jose Theodore looked nothing like the playoff goalie that he needs to be. He let in some easy saves that, for once, no one can blame on the defense. Although you really can't blame a guy who had 31 shots taken on him.

Once again the shothand defense was lacking.  While Washington converted only 1 out of 5 power plays (and aren't they the NHL leader?), their opponent managed to score on 3 out of 4.

In addition to some sloppy plays, the team has a couple of injuries it needs to worry about as well. Brooks Laich is already sitting out with a "face injury", and last night, rookie John Carlson had to leave the game as well.

I hope that they're just resting up a little bit before the playoffs. Maybe Boudreau is trying out some new things that the team isn't used to.

Or maybe they're falling apart.

Once again, I have to place faith in the team and assume that they'll be playoff-ready in a few weeks. They could use some work on the defense and...actually, I'm not sure what happened to the offense in the first period...four shots!?!

In an interview with the Washington Post , Nicklas Backstrom even noted that they had some trouble last year at the beginning of the playoffs:

"I remember the playoffs last year [and] we weren't ready the first two games. We have to get ready now and play a good 60 minutes. We haven't played a good 60 minutes in a while." Backstrom said.

Let's hope we see a good 60 out of them soon.


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