Streaks. We seem to always be on the wrong side of them. Is it bad luck? Is it bad bounces? Neither? Both? I don’t know anymore. All I know is that the Florida Panthers will not be in the post season for the 10th consecutive year. An NHL record. Also, they are coming into tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals with an eight game losing streak that they’d love to snap.
In these eight games the Cats have scored 11 goals, and are 1 for 17 on the power play, which as we know has been horrible all season. Currently the PP which can also stand for piss poor, is 30th with a 13.2 success rate. Or failing more than 86% of the time. The penalty kill however is ranked 5th, thanks to Gord Murphy with an 85.7 success rate. Combined, these numbers add up to 98.9. A former head coach once said that any team that’s going to have success in the league needs to have these combined numbers above 100. When playoffs come, it’s your special teams that can be a difference maker. Obviously as we try to stay out of the basement, this is conversation for another time.
Scott Clemmensen will make his fifth consecutive start tonight as Tomas Vokoun is still not 100% with his wonky back. Vokoun however will be the backup tonight, which is a good sign. As far as I’m concerned, if Vokoun is going to play one more game, let it be Saturday night at home. He deserves that. The Panthers seem to always play the Caps well, and are 2-1-1 against them this season. Stephen Weiss remains out of the lineup with a groin pull, and may not play in either of the final two games.
The Capitals come into this game having clinched their fourth consecutive Southeast Division title with their shootout win over Toronto last night. Their next objective is to win the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the second season in a row. Go ahead…knock your socks off. The Caps at are on a different kind of streak compared to Florida, having won three straight, and are 7-0-1 in their last eight games at home.
Alex Ovechkin has a paltry 31 goals to lead the team. We should be so lucky to have that. Since their own eight game skid back in December, and the Bruce Boudreau f-bomb speech on HBO, the Caps have gone 29-10-7.
The Capitals seem to have adopted a different style as of late as well. Not as much run and gun and a little more responsible on defence, with more attention being paid to the details. Still, and this is just my opinion, they have proven in the past to be a team that’s built for the regular season, and not for a long playoff run. Is this the year that changes? We’ll have to wait and see.
It would be nice to see the losing stop tonight. I really can’t stand this trying to stay out of the basement thing. Here’s the TSN Gameday preview.
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