Caps coach Barry Trotz, forward Troy Brouwer, and defenseman John Carlson...
The Most Forgettable Game of the Year
Snow one’s here. Haha (Caps Outsider)
There was little reason for any Caps fan to be optimistic heading into Tuesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators. The commute to and from Verizon Center was a nightmare, the Caps were already in the midst of a five-game losing streak, and the league’s MVP, Alex Ovechkin, was a late scratch. Before the puck even dropped, this game was destined to play out as it eventually did – a 2-0 loss – OR it would somehow be THAT game – the turning point in the season where the Caps would claw their way to victory in any way possible to begin a winning streak. It would be THAT game where, say, Eric Fehr had the hat-trick, Martin Erat scored the winner in the final minute, or Tom Wilson got his first Gordie Howe.
And why couldn’t it? In the last several seasons, Washington suffered losing streaks, lost their identity, underperformed, then pulled a rabbit out of their hat and made the playoffs. Though past turnarounds usually involved a shot in the arm from Ovechkin, that’s clearly not cutting it this season when he consistently nets the only one in a 3-1 or 4-1 loss.
While there’s still plenty of time for the Caps to do what they’ve done the past few years – put together a late-season rally and wind up comfortably in a playoff spot – it’s games like Tuesday’s that make fans wonder why they even bother watching the game, let alone commuting in the snow and paying to sit in the arena.
It’s likely, though, that those who bothered showing up Tuesday already had more faith than anyone who skipped the game because the Caps’ play as of late. Down 2-0 in the third, the half-empty crowd still chanted “Let’s Go Caps,” sang that Wooo! song, Unleashed the Fury and cheered when someone Spotted the Cow. But ultimately, no ticket stub for Tuesday’s game will be laminated and placed in a scrapbook. Instead, fans can only try to forget what happened Tuesday, January 21, 2014, and remember the upcoming moment when the Caps turn it around.