Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Capitals Remain in Solid Contention For First Place

I didn’t get to see the game last night, but in reading recaps it sounds like it was a rather mundane effort. No matter. Wild rumor and legend has it that even high-scoring darlings such as the Pittsburgh St. Crosbys and supposed high-scoring darlings like the New York Rangers get shut out from time to time (a little more often if you’re the Rangers). A dud of a game could have been eventually expected under Bruce II, even as we have been conditioned over the last two months to expect three, four, or five goals a night. At least it sounds like he’s suitably ticked off and will have the lads highly motivated in upcoming games.

The Caps remain but three points behind doomed Carolina, and still have those handy two extra games to play. Plus, they’re also only three points out of their backup plan of eighth place. That seeding, of course, would equal a first-round series with Ottawa, also known as a free pass to the second round.

DCO sees a simple rebound game against Montreal on Thursday, and a repeat of the home-and-home series against Toronto from last week. That is, possibly deflating loss on the road followed by a solid win at home to get everything back on track. We also see a bit of perfect timing in this minor setback. The Optimilitia and friends and co-workers will be swarming Verizon Center on February 8, when those first-place caretakers from Carolina arrive. We now predict, like a CNN primary victory projection, that the Capitals will complete their comeback from three points down and relieve the Hurricanes of their division perch on this date (more official-sounding rendition: With 62% of the season reporting, DCO projects that the Capitals will win the Southeast Division). They will thank Rod Brind’Amour and company for keeping their seat warm and never look back.

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