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Capitals cough up three-goal lead, lose to Jets in OT

Mar 23, 2012, 10:02 PM EDT

If you ask me, it’s often unfair to say that a hockey team “choked.” Making such an accusation assumes that hockey is a sport where a lot isn’t left to chance; I think most of us can agree that largely isn’t the case. Still, it’s pretty tough to fight off the long-held criticisms of the Washington Capitals after a loss like this.

The team seemed like it would produce a slam-dunk win in a huge home game against the Winnipeg Jets as they took a 3-0 as Alex Ovechkin continued his hot streak with two of those goals. The Jets and Capitals stuck to the script after that, though, as Winnipeg was that “scrappy bunch” while Washington seemed like a bunch of chokers, coughing up a 3-0 lead to eventually lose 4-3 in overtime.

How do you explain a loss like this? Who gets the blame? Did Brooks Laich make a mistake by fighting Jim Slater in the second period?

All kinds of questions sprout up from a loss like this, but Washington must move on. If nothing else, they’ll get a charity point to keep them in the mix.

East update:

(With Ottawa Senators’ disturbing loss to the Montreal Canadiens, it seems relevant to include them in the mix now.)

7. Ottawa: 84 points, 32 regulation/OT wins and eight games left
8. Washington: 82 points, 35 regulation/OT wins and seven games left

9. Buffalo: 82 points, 29 regulation/OT wins and seven games left
10. Winnipeg: 78 points, 31 regulation/OT wins and eight games left

(Carolina and Toronto aren’t that far behind, but study the expanded standings to determine how much of a chance you believe they have.)

The Capitals did get their charity point, but this is obviously a huge confidence-builder for the Jets – especially since it came on the road. The Sabres are also obviously bigger winners with Washington’s loss; while Buffalo’s time in the eighth spot proved short-lived, they must be taken seriously as a threat for one of the final two playoff spots.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Sports Club Stats still gives Washington the edge for the eighth spot, but Buffalo definitely made a big jump on Friday.

  1. phillyphever - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    I would like to thank Washington and NY for losing tonight. We could have clinched a playoff spot tonight. Oh well, guess we might as well do it in Montreal.

    • crazemastercraze - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:24 PM

      “We”?????

  2. pfpmb - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Lets hear it Caps fans. What happened tonight? Was it the refs gain tonight (like the excuse last Friday)? Please keep the childish, personal attacks to a minimal. Keep it classy Caps fans.

    • ravenscaps48 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM

      Ovechkin and Empty Nets… That’s how we lost

      • ravenscaps48 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM

        Are you kidding? Thumbs Down? You must not have watched the game

  3. dashortstop517 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Too bad. If the Bruins don’t bring the cup back to Boston, I wanted the caps to bring it to D.C

  4. ravenscaps48 - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    QUITTERS!!! CHOKERS!!!! GOLFERS!!!! Dale Hunter, GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE YOU BUM!!!

    • pfpmb - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM

      Ottawa is falling back to the pack. Maybe the Caps and Sabres make it in with the 2 Canadian clubs on the outside looking in. While I’d like to see playoff hockey in Winnipeg this spring, I don’t see it happening due to the 3 point game tonight.

      I hate the 3 point game rule. Change it NHL.

    • bcjim - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      Show some respect. DH can drive this bus over a cliff if he wants. On purpose. Thats how much rope he has with me. You must have never seen the man on the ice. Next year they should be expected to make the playoffs. This year? I’ll be disappointed but Im not firing DH32. Im not even criticizing him.

      • pfpmb - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:05 PM

        Wholesale changes are needed in DC. This club has too many individual players that will not buy into any sort of system that makes defence a priority. There are some good pieces but a lot of dead weight in their top 6 forwards and a couple of d-men. Goaltending needs an upgrade as well.

  5. Buffalo Grumblings - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    The Cup will be in St. Louis this year

    • pfpmb - Mar 23, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      I like the Blues in the playoffs. I would also like to see Alex Steen back in his hometown, Winnipeg, next season.

  6. kantnockdahustle89 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    RavensCaps over reacts like most normal Caps fans. Its hard to not over react with the crap we’ve been dealing with since 1974.

    The reason they lost is Dale Hunters coaching. Caps were in control for 2 periods and then did their normal thing where the dump and change in the 3rd. Its not just the Jets game. Its every win. Its DHs style of coaching. It just doesnt work in the NHL.

    • ravenscaps48 - Mar 24, 2012 at 12:16 AM

      OverReacts?… We lost a game that we had no business losing. We had them against the ropes and we QUIT. It’s just frustration. Because we are probably the only team in the entire League that can play like the best and worst teams in the NHL within a 60 Minute Timeframe . And tonight proved that

      • letangusespertplus - Mar 24, 2012 at 10:43 AM

        not once has this team played like the best team in the league. Watch other teams games.

      • crazemastercraze - Mar 24, 2012 at 7:25 PM

        uh…….”We”?????

  7. dcfan4life - Mar 24, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Whether or not the Capitals still make the playoffs, the difference from the top 3 or 4 teams in the East to the next 4 is huge. First round exit, if they make it, seems inevitable.

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