The Washington Capitals needed a win on Friday to avoid their third four-game losing streak of the season. You’d think they could get it against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but you’d be wrong.
To make matters worse, I’m drinking Coors Light, which is a beer in the same way John Erskine is a pro hockey player. Barely.
Tom Wilson nullified a Caps’ powerplay to make it four-on-four, and soon after that, John Carlson’s trip made it four-on-three for the Jackets. James Wisniewski made the Caps pay for that, and then Cam Atkinson made it 2-0 before the first intermission after Dmitry Orlov was unable to clear the crease.
Ryan Johansen scored for Lumbus early in the second, chasing Grubauer from net and bringing in fresh-faced Braden Holtby. With the help of Martin Erat and some traffic up front, John Carlson got a long puck past Bobrovsky at the halfway point. The Caps had a flicker of life.
Mark Letestu extinguished that flicker with a snazzy near-side goal early in the third. Then Cam Atkinson peed on the embers.
Blue Jackets beat Caps 5-1. The Caps have lost four games in a row. This beer tastes awful.
So I’ve gotta recap this shit? *Cracks open new can*
I’ll start with the positive. This team is better than this. I’m convinced of it. The Capitals’ win record in the last month is not an accurate indicator of their talent. Their potential to win exceeds their previous record.
So why aren’t they winning? An abundance of mistakes, some bad luck, incomprehensible lineup decisions, and one of the worst depth lineups in the league. The Capitals’ fourth line (when Erat isn’t on it) and the John Erskine/Connor Carrick D-pairings do disservice to the uniform. But those guys weren’t the problem tonight.
I don’t know why the Caps lost this one. I don’t particularly care. I guess that makes me intellectually lazy and bad at my job and wasteful of your time. I’m sorry. I’ll just say what I’ve been saying because I earnestly believe it: the Caps are better than this. They can– even if they have to be better in spite of their coach.
For now, this is a bad hockey team. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Personal note: I’ll be at the game in New York on Sunday, so Chris Gordon will have recap duties. If you’re going to be in the city and/or at the game, say hi. I’ll be the guy in the Matt Bradley jersey, dreaming of a better hockey team to root for, not drinking Coors Light. That’s for damn sure.
— Grant Zauner (@griz0615) January 18, 2014
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