And yet this enthusiasm is tempered by the feeling that yes, we’re in the position to celebrate beating the Florida Panthers 4-0. There was a time when we were fairly certain the Hershey Bears could do that.
The Capitals are in playoff position with one precarious point – a point that is not good enough to get them into the playoffs if not for that “one from every division” issue. Tomorrow (or more likely today, when I finish typing) it’s a match against the Winnipeg Jets, another game that should be a gimme: they’re terrible and we’re 2-1 in the series so far. On the other hand, Capitals hockey has rebranded from “a high-powered offense that makes up for its lack of defensive capability with lots of goals” (aka “you score 5, we’ll score 6″) and replaced it with “we’ll let you score 2 just to keep it interesting, forgetting that we’re missing both key players and that je-ne-sais-quois scoring touch that allows us to catch up.”
So my prediction for that game is that Winnipeg scores 2, which might be too conservative what with Evander Kane coming back and being all good. Pavelec is also a pretty good goaltender, except he has a horrible track record at the VC. AND the Jets power play is not firing on all airplane-equivalent-of-cylinders. Thrusters, maybe.
Last night Locker tried to make the point that if we were to get 5 or 6 points out of the standings with fewer than 30 games left, we’d have no shot at all. That may be a little melodramatic. But we need every point we can get, and if we can do it while stopping outher Southeast teams from getting any, so much the better. Do it in regs, Caps!