Monday, April 14, 2008

A New Home Away From Home?

When they lost Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with the Flyers yesterday, the Caps also lost home ice advantage, meaning that they'll need to win at least one game on the road if they're to win the series.

But that may not be as difficult a task as it sounds, given that the Caps haven't lost in the Wachovia Center in more than two years. Granted, this followed a 16-game winless streak in the building that spanned from March 5, 1998 through February 10, 2006, but the last four times the Caps have headed up I-95 to Philly, they've left town happy. A brief recap of the four games:
  • November 4, 2006 - Caps 5, Flyers 3 (Alex Ovechkin two goals, including the game-winner)
  • December 9, 2006 - Caps 5, Flyers 3 (Ovechkin with a goal and two assists)
  • November 23, 2007 - Caps 4, Flyers 3 (OT) (Bruce Boudreau's first game as Caps head coach, Nicklas Backstrom GWG)
  • February 6, 2008 - Caps 4, Flyers 3 (Ovechkin GWG)
In six career games in Philly, Alex Ovechkin has five goals, four assists and two game-winning goals, and the last Flyer netminder to beat the Caps at home was... Robert Esche. Point being, this team should know they can win in Philly - now they just need to go out and do it.

Finally, in what can only be seen as a good omen (unless you're a shareholder, that is), Wachovia today posted a "surprising" loss, in part due to the fact that the corporation "has... been hurt in its capital markets unit." So there's that.

5 comments:

Scott said...

Haha i don't find any solace in the caps recent history in Philly, but I do like the Wachovia bit...

Anonymous said...

ouch. I work for that company, in that division. Not good times right now. People are going to lose their jobs....

JR said...

You've hit on a pet peeve of mine. Home ice advantage is defined as the team having the extra game at home. This does not change throughout the series and is only evident in that a) the series starts at the site of the team with HIA and b) the deciding game is hosted by the team with HIA. What you are saying is that the Caps now have to win a road game, whereas before they could have just won their four homers, but it has nothing to do with home ice advantage.

JP said...

I'm not sure that I agree. To me, home ice advantage means that if you hold serve and win your home games, the series is yours. That's the case here, now, for Philly.

Even by your definition, the Flyers have the extra game at home from here on out, hence the home ice advantage has shifted.

The decisive game 7 is only a decisive game 7 if the Caps recapture HIA.

JR said...

By your definition, teams are constantly losing and regaining home ice advantage so it really shouldn't be news. I seem to recall, though I can't find the stats, that the NHL had one of the most absurd visiting win percentages in the four major sports. Whereas Game 7s were largely won by home teams. One thing I know, winning a game or TWO in Philly is certainly doable.