Now that the Ravens have been vanquished from the playoffs and another football season is over in Baltimore, we all have to figure out what to do with our lives. Based on a straw poll of my Twitter followers, some of you have resorted to binge drinking, while others have already turned their focus to the Orioles. I'm not sure which is more toxic. The Terps are a popular distraction, too.
Me? I'm excited to watch more hockey. And I suggest you give the Capitals a chance, if you haven't already. I would wait a week or two, though, because right now they're in a mini slump.
The Capitals lost, 3-2, to one of their Pennsylvania rivals, the Flyers, on Tuesday. The Capitals erased a two-goal deficit in the third period with tallies from Mike Knuble and Alex Ovechkin, but lost in overtime when Andrej Meszaros squeezed a softie through Semyon Varlamov's pillows.
The loss was the fourth in five games for the Capitals, who trail the Lightning in the Southeast Division by a point. They are 8-8-6 since the start of December, and just past the season's midway point, they are fifth in the East and eight points separate them from the ninth-place Hurricanes.
The supremely skilled Capitals have surprisingly struggled in the 4-on-4 overtime, and a few of those extra points would have put them atop the division. Washington won its first four OT decisions and its first shootout. Since then, the Capitals are 0-5 in OT and 1-3 in the shootout.
In an unrelated note, the NHL trade deadline is February 28, so GM George McPhee will get a few weeks to think about reshaping his roster. I still think he needs to add a couple of skilled bruisers on the back end -- I know, not an easy task -- and consider trading for a proven, veteran goalie, even if it is just to back up Semyon Varlamov or Michael Neuvirth. Adding some secondary scoring would be nice, too. That's my shopping list for the Capitals. What do you got on yours?