The Caps being mired in a slump of late – losers of ten of their last 14 games – one might be tempted to start looking at the roster before us and saying, “ya know?...they’re bad.”
I would not use that characterization.
What the Caps are is “inconsistent.” If you look back over a schedule that finds the Caps 19-20-7 this morning, you’ll find that they’ve had points-earned streaks of five games, four games (twice), and three games (twice). On the other side, they’ve had streaks of games lost in regulation of five games and three games (twice, including currently).
The Peerless doesn’t really understand why this is so surprising. The Caps top goal scorers are 21 years old and 22, respectively – both in their second full year of NHL play. They have three defensemen – Shaone Morrisonn, Mike Green, and Steve Eminger – with fewer than 400 combined games at the sport’s hardest position. Throw in a Brooks Laich, a Jakub Klepis, or a Boyd Gordon, and you’re talking about players, none of whom have two full years of NHL experience.
Part of the Caps’ problem is how they got here. On December 16th the Caps had just knocked off the hapless Flyers and stood at 15-10-7. Merry freakin’ Christmas, could the playoffs be far behind? Well, then the problems of the holidays and all that nonsense (remember, these are people with lives, too), and the grind of the winter schedule, not to mention some inopportune injuries to defensemen conspired to put the Caps behind the eight-ball.
There is a difference between playing badly and being “bad,” a difference between being inconsistent and being “bad.” The Caps have lacked consistency all year, and right how they are playing “badly.” But, they are not “bad.”
Now the Flyers? . . . They’re bad.