Friday, January 25, 2008

When we get back...Southern Un-hospitality

Something to ponder...After the break, the Caps will have 32 games left. Of this number, 14 will be against teams in the Southeast Division as follows (records against, to date, in parentheses):

vs. Carolina (2-2-0): 2 home/2 away
vs. Tampa Bay (3-2-0): 1 home/2 away
vs. Atlanta (2-1-1): 2 home/2 away
vs. Florida (2-2-1): 1 home/2 away

That's 9-7-2 against the Southeast so far with six games left at home, eight on the road. The last seven games of the year are against Southeast Division clubs.

But here's the thing...the Caps are 6-1-1 against the Southeast since Thanksgiving. Florida is 4-3-0, Carolina is 4-3-1, Atlanta is 2-3-1, and Tampa Bay is 2-5-0 over that span in the division.

If the Caps can keep up the pressure on their divisional rivals in the heavily division-weighted schedule after the All-Star break, the playoffs might not be a pipe dream.

Sure, it's getting ahead of ourselves a bit, but think about what 20 (or more) of the 28 available points might mean...and what that last two weeks of the season might be like.


Shaggy said...

What are your thoughts on Johnson vs Kolzig? Will Bouds have an epiphany on the order of, "hey, I can't blow this shot at the playoffs by maintaining a blind allegiance to our highly paid starter because it would huwt his feewings?"
Methinks the writing is on the wall...and Johnny will get at least half the remaining starts. The Caps can't afford to allow a goal more a game when Olie is in the pipes...

The Peerless said...

I suspect Kolzig gets the nod in the first Montreal game. After that -- and the results of that game -- it'll be a case of who is the hot hand.

But let's not forget, too, that while Kolzig's underlying stats aren't among his best, he's 7-2-1 in his last nine decisions, andone might argue (as the argument was made for Grant Fuhr 20 years ago) that he gives the Caps the ability to go as aggressively in the offensive zone as they have under Boudreau.