You know how sometimes scoring slumps can be broken by the ugliest of goals? You know, that bounces-off-two-defensemens’-legs-then-dribbles-in-type of goal? Then that goal usually ushers in a torrid streak in which everything, at last, goes in? Maybe that ugly goal is akin to a 2-1 overtime loss to a fellow bottom-feeder. Maybe in losing to the (formerly?) lowly Atlanta Thrashers, the Caps have scored their ugly goal, won their ugly single standings point to break the standings-scoring drought (a drought that even managed to foul the mood of the owner). Maybe this sets the stage for a shocking win in Ottawa on Thursday, followed by a healthy dose of games against Southeast opponents; games ripe for more streak-breaking. Included in there is a nice four-day break, a prime opportunity to get back those desperately needed injured 30-goal scorers.
While they now sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, tied with Tampa Bay and Buffalo (Buffalo? Didn’t see that one coming) for last place, the Capitals are only four points behind the Rangers and Maple Leafs, who are tied for 8th. Yes, a playoff spot. Four points and lots and lots of time to make up the ground.
I was only able to half-follow the game through internet updates, due to that Versus-imposed blackout I still don’t fully understand. Thus I’m not sure exactly what went on, though I do see the Caps scored a power play goal and killed off six Thrashers’ opportunities. That’s something. Tom Poti played, Michael Nylander scored, helping the Caps surge back from that one-goal hole.
At this point, it could still be worse (they could be Edmonton or Phoenix), and there is plenty of opportunity to get better.