The Caps need a slump buster, stat. The numbers are ugly, so I won't go over them - what's in the past is past, water under the bridge, tabula rasa, etc. The fact remains, though, that the Caps find themselves at something of a crossroad, and with the Stars (16-6-0), Sabres (19-3-2), resurgent Sens (6-4-0 in their last 10) and Ducks (17-2-6) looming, if Washington can't steal one in Tampa, this slump might take on a life of its own.
I've thrown some other thoughts together over on SeSo (my keys to the game), and hope to see some of y'all commenting over there in the Open Thread before, during and after this intra-divisional tilt. But here's the bigger question - when would you hit the panic button? And what exactly would you do at that point? Trade a slow-developing (or regressing) defenseman? Fire the coach? Sign a free agent? Personally, I'd answer no, not yet (more on that later) and hell no. What do you think?
Caps Quick Hit
- NHL.com posted a profile of Jakub Klepis the other day. I'm not entirely sure why, and lines like "In another year or two Klepis could well be -- and it sounds like the Capitals would like him to be -- the top center on the [Alexander] Ovechkin line" make me question the relevence of the rest of the piece (I doubt the Caps think they drafted a future second-line center with the #4 overall pick last June), but good publicity is good publicity so I'll stop looking a gift horse in the mouth.
- Hart: Dominik Hasek (W, 20 saves on 21 shots against)
- Ross: Patrik Elias (2 points)
- Norris: Mathieu Schneider (Game-winning shorthanded goal)
- Vezina: Dominik Hasek (W, 20 saves on 21 shots against)
- Richard: 7 players tied with one goal each
- Calder: Anze Kopitar (A, game-winning shootout goal)
- Aiken: Jere Lehtinen (0 points, -2, 0 SOG in 2-1 loss)