Even with this little “slump” the Capitals are in the last couple of weeks, they nevertheless remain in prime position to either jump into the Southeast Division lead or the eighth seed in the East. I say “slump” because even though it might seem the Caps are losing an awful lot lately, there have still only been two pointless evenings this fortnight. Let’s compare this to the Flyers SLUMP, which saw them go seven games without a standings point before last night’s heroic overtime loss to the Senators. That SLUMP has pushed Philly and Lil’ Danny Briere to Atlantic Division irrelevance and a tenuous hold on the playoffs in general. Not so with the Capitals who, despite sloughing through the least-prolific period in the Bruce Boudreau era, remain on the fringe of postseason greatness.
Likewise, Alex Ovechkin, three scoreless games aside, remains solidly in control of the goal-scoring race, and is still in wondrous position to regain the scoring lead and win the scoring title. This we must all hope for, and not just for the sake of rooting for our hometown superstar. No, Ovechkin must also win this scoring title to save us all from story after story of Evgeni Malkin the Savior, who saved the NHL playoffs (i.e., kept Sidney Crosby in them) by winning the title and propelling Pittsburgh into the postseason. If you thought Sidney-fawning was bad, Evgeni-worship could be much worse. Alex can’t let that happen, he won’t let that happen, and he can’t let that happen.
But on to last night’s game. Everybody dislikes blowing a 2-0 lead and losing in overtime. However, everybody absolutely HATES blowing a 5-0 lead and losing in overtime. As the Flyers helped us put the Caps “downturn” in general into perspective, the Rangers help us see how not terrible this one specific game was. While a point is a point as they say, this Capitals’ point earned vs. the Islanders must taste worlds better than the Rangers’ point earned vs. the Canadiens. And anyways, we all know that the Capitals specialty is coming back from two-goal deficits, not holding on to two-goal leads. We’ve seen enough Washington comebacks to know that.
So all is well. Two points back from Carolina and two games in hand. Still sounds like a division title.