Monday, 20 December 2010

Caps snap slide against Senators.

Things were getting rather unpleasant for the all-star Washington Capitals of late. Eight straight losses for Alex Ovechkin and Co had send them plummeting down the Eastern Conference table and had allowed the Atlanta Thrashers to take the top spot in the South-East division. However, last night's 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators puts the Caps back on top even if they are only one point ahead of the Atlanta Thrashers and two points ahead of Tampa Bay, both of whom have played less games than Washington. It will come as a massive relief to both fans and players who, just like me, would never have expected such an impressive team to go on such a losing streak. This will make the battle for the South-East division title far more exciting than it has been in recent years but I still expect Washington to triumph after the 82 games. They won't succumb to another slide like that this season, a slide which could prove to have a silver lining.

Let me explain...

Last season Washington breezed to 121 points and the President's trophy. They didn't know what it was like to hit a bad patch. So, when things turned against them in the playoffs against Montreal, they couldn't react in the right way because they didn't know how to react, and were sent crashing out in the first round. However, this season they have experienced a rough patch. They tasted frustration and defeat for eight straight games. They know now that their team can be exposed, by anyone.

My theory is this...

This is a team that could arguably be more dangerous now than it was when it seemed invincible. Why? Because they are armed with a new experience. They are armed with the knowledge of how to overcome a rough patch. They know what changes they need to make to their game and they know what extra levels of effort must be reached to grind out a vital win and take momentum back. In short, they now know how to react to what happened to them last year in the play-offs and that could be very dangerous indeed. 

Can Ovechkin lead the Caps to a Stanley Cup?

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