Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Caps Lose to Sabres; Hope to Rebound Against Florida

I will admit that I wasn't able to watch last nights game, but here's what I gathered from the reactions of others:

So, we now know that Bruce Boudreau is not a miracle worker who will go 61-0-0 this year. But other than that, what did the loss tell Caps fans? In my opinion, nothing really. Any team is going to have losses and any team is going to have bad losses, that's just the nature of hockey. The test will be seeing how this team comes back and responds to the loss Wednesday night against the Panthers.

Speaking of the schedule, the Capitals end their stretch of ten games in sixteen days this Saturday when they again play Florida (the game in between is against Carolina, in Raleigh). The busy stretch under Boudreau would have to be considered a success if the Capitals can take two out of these three games, which would put Boudreau's record at 4-2-0 going into a five-day layoff, which should give the team time to learn the intricacies of Boudreau's system. Needless to say, if the team picks up eight points in their first six games under Boudreau and then has a chance to fully adapt to his system, they will be in pretty good shape considering how things looked when Boudreau took over behind the bench.

While it should not be expected that the Capitals will beat the Hurricanes at home (which has as much to do with how good the 'Canes are as it does the Caps), it should at this point be expected that the Caps take both games from the Panthers. Simply put, the Capitals are better than the Panthers. They have better scorers, better defense and better depth, and as desperate as they need to be at this point they should come out and take care of the Panthers. No matter what the Capitals have a long road ahead of them if they want to get back into contention, and these games against Florida will be key in determining whether or not they have it in them.

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