But while it's frustrating for us impatient fans, as mentioned before, it will give the team a chance to get healthy and work on getting used to Bruce Boudreau's system, so when the break is finally over on Friday night, they'll be a well-oiled 20-engine killing machine.
One thing is for certain, though - when the Caps return to action later in the week, they'd better start winning some games on home ice. There are only three teams in the entire League - Montreal, Toronto and Atlanta - with less than twice as many home wins as the Caps have. If the season is to be salvaged, the team will have to play much better hockey at home (as in above .500), and they'll have their first chance to better that disappointing 3-8-1 mark Saturday night when they open a four-game home-stand against Atlanta.
Anyway, since things are pretty slow for the next couple of days, I figured I'd throw out a question for discussion each day. Today's question: what the hell is wrong with Matt Pettinger? Here's a guy who had scored 36 goals over the past two seasons (in 135 games - a 21.9 goals per 82 games pace) and now sits dead last in shooting percentage among NHL forwards with at least 40 shots on goal. One goal and two helpers all year. No points since October 29 (he actually had his goal and an assist in that game, meaning he has all of one assist in his other 25 games this season). On the plus side, every goal he's scored this year has been a game-winner.
Has his shoulder never fully healed? Is he skating with the wrong linemates? Has he just had rotten luck? Any and all theories are welcome.
- Hart: Cory Stillman (2G, +2, 5 SOG)
- Ross: 8 players tied with 2 points each
- Norris: Joni Pitkanen (G, A, 3 SOG)
- Vezina: Cam Ward (28-save shutout win)
- Richard: Cory Stillman (2G)
- Calder: Kris Letang (Game-winning goal)
- Aiken: Martin Straka (0 points, -4 in 4-0 loss)