End of an era

Well, I didn't watch the last two Caps games.  The first, against the Devils, I missed because I was sick.  The second I'd forgotten about until I heard the result (twenty or thirty minutes after it finished).

It looks like the Caps played respectably against the Devils; 5v5 close Fenwick was slightly in their favor.  And OV scored at evens, which was a nice change from the previous month (it's almost like having Beagle centering OV wasn't a good idea, or something).

They did spend too much time killing penalties (almost ten minutes), as usual allowing too many shots against (15 attempted, 10 on net; it should be noted that that those are slightly better numbers than usual, though.  Still too many, but a slight improvement).

The power play seems to've done merely ok, with ten attempted shots (five on net) over nearly five minutes.

Neither power play scored, however.

The 2-1 loss certainly can't be pinned on Halak, however.  His .935 save percentage is certainly all you can ask of him (realistically, at least).

Going into that game, the Caps were down to only an 84% chance of making the playoffs, even winning out.  So that loss eliminated their realistic chance of making the playoffs.  Which is probably just as well, given how bad the team looks.

As for the Islanders game... They won, in the shootout, but there wasn't much to like there.  Kuzya across net to MarJo back across to Kuzya was a nice goal.  And OV did a nice job setting up Backstrom's goal.  And Holtby did a nice job (stopping a short-handed breakaway, as well as one of the goals being one that looked stopped but trickled through).  But possessionally, it was pretty bad (against a so-so team, possessionally).  Basically, they got lucky to win, especially when you factor in the shootout (to be clear, however, they were lucky even to get to the shootout).

I've gotta admit, at this point I'd be just as happy if they lose the rest of them, just for the minor improvement in draft position (even though it's not expected to be a deep draft; but they could move up as many as five spots).  If they could do it while playing hard, so much the better.

Anyway, next game is Tuesday in St Louis, where we will probably be put out of our misery of a season (after that, a Detroit overtime loss and a Columbus win would be enough to make it a mathematical certainty).

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