The Washington Capitals will not make the playoffs.
If you just come out and say it, it feels so much better. Cathartic.
The trade deadline was supposed to answer a few problems the Caps had within their team, and General Manager George McPhee answered a couple of those problems in trading Martin Erat and Michal Neuvirth. Both players expressed disinterest in their role with the team and wanted out - so they're out. Martin Erat was shipped to Phoenix with John Mitchell (minor leaguer) for Rostislav Klesla, Chris Brown (prospect) and a 3rd round pick. Great return for Erat considering no one wanted him, but then again, no one really wanted Klesla either.
GMGM then flipped Klesla and tossed him in the package with Neuvirth to get Halak and 3rd round pick from Buffalo. Again, great return. Halak is only 28, but he's a veteran goalie who could be a game changer. He plays better with a lot of shots, and could help the Caps win a few games. It's the confidence of having a goalie like him in net that can change the ideology of a team, and I think it's great.
The only other transaction GMGM pulled off was getting Dustin Penner from Anaheim for a 4th round pick. Again, a great deal. We stole Penner. He as well liked in Anaheim. He's 242lbs of pancake eating love, and I can't wait for him to get some games in. He's a great locker room guy and has already made himself a darling to the media here. I really hope he's around next year.
But then that's it. That's all GMGM did. He got the veteran goalie, which helps a lot, but Halak isn't what he used to be. We'll see. He got a LW to replace Erat, and Penner is a much bigger presence up front that Marty was. The Caps, however, still have no presence in the defensive end. And that is why they will fail.
Tonight, the Caps lost big to the Flyers for the second time in 4 days, giving up stupid goals. Yes they made a comeback, but they shouldn't have to. The Flyers have been playing much better hockey as of late, but they are very beatable. The Caps just don't have the depth they need to compete for a playoff spot.
Once upon a time, the Caps could march down the ice and score 6 goals and not have to worry about giving up 4-5 goals. Then they lost to the Halak-fueled Canadiens in the 2010 playoffs, and tried to change the entire dynamic of their teams ideology (there's that word again). Since then, they have been struggling to find an identity.
I really had no hope for this season to begin with. I had hoped that Adam Oates could drive some stability into the lineup, but he hasn't. Sure Ovechkin is going to score 50 goals, but who cares? I'm sure Ted doesn't mind. He's selling tickets.
It's been 8 years since Ovechkin first scored 50, and it's great and all, but we want a Cup. The Fans deserve a Cup. And this team will fail us again.
The Caps desperately need stability (another word that keeps coming up) in their defense, and right now, they suck. Bad. They can barely clear their own zone. Maybe Halak will help calm things down by giving them more confidence in their goaltender. Maybe that will help fuel an offensive surge because they know they can rely on their goalie - stranger things have happened.
But I doubt it.
This team will fail. And us Fans will be watching Ovechkin skate away with another trophy and another bonus while other teams battle for the Cup. The only trophy that actually matters.
I'm bitter. And it's late. Goodnight.