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Playoff bubble watch — Capitals edition

Mar 7, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

Alex Ovechkin AP

After six straight seasons of making the playoffs, the Washington Capitals are in serious jeopardy of missing them in 2014.

Last night’s 3-0 loss to the Bruins saw the Caps muster just 16 shots on goal and, more importantly in the big picture, saw their chances of qualifying for the postseason fall to just 14.3 percent, according to Sports Club Stats.

With just 18 games left — including a tough three-game road trip through California, plus a number of other tough opponents — it’s not looking good.

“You can’t get much lower than that, I guess,” defenseman Karl Alzner said after the Boston loss. “The killer instinct isn’t there right now and it needs to be there because we are running out of time.”

Only five teams in the entire NHL have fewer regulation/overtime wins than the Caps’ 21.

Should Washington miss out on the playoffs, there could be significant change in D.C. Certainly, longtime general manager George McPhee has been a focal point for fan frustration, and one has to seriously wonder if his job is in peril — especially given the Caps’ payroll, not to mention their past disappointments in the playoffs and all the coaches that have come and gone.

The Caps host Phoenix Saturday before taking on the Penguins back-to-back Monday and Tuesday.

  1. 7mantel - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    That’s what happens when you move up to varsity from jv !

  2. jeremyroenickdanceparty - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    It paid to be the best team in the worst division. Finally, the truth comes out…this team was never that great to begin with!

  3. SergeantKabukiMan - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Team has no identity anymore. Nowhere near close to what they were in 09-10. And that team couldn’t win a playoff series. They might need some serious front office changes if they don’t get in the playoffs.

    • polegojim - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      They need to make some serious changes no matter what… with the team.

      The front office put together enough skill to win… but the players have failed on ice. Not enough character.

  4. vbcaps - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Obv I want the caps in the post season but as the saying goes in every bad situation find the good…

    Could not making the playoffs be the final tipping point to change the helm at GM spot?

    • jeremyroenickdanceparty - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      I hope for your sake it is. Caps fans have come a long way in the last decade and you deserve better than what you’re getting.

  5. cdalton2690 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    The GM spot needs to be the first thing to change on this team. GMGM’s comments after the game in Philly about how he doesn’t mind getting outshot were a clear message that he has checked out mentally with this organization. He comments wouldn’t have been so bad if all of the shots Philly took were in close to the net or in the slot area, nothing from outside and low percentage chances. He made some decent moves at the deadline, however they have never addressed the need for a real stay at home defenseman. That has been the glaring issue for this team for years, the answer is not Mike Green. He should be a power play specialist and nothing more.

  6. dpierce4g63 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    this team has played with no heart for the last three games. they had two worthy goaltenders and what does gmgm do? he gets us another goaltender who, frankly, isn’t neccesarily the same goaltender the capitals faced in the 2010 playoffs. what this team needs to do is can mike green and get a really solid stay at home d-man. it’s really sad to watch this team these days. i think one of the worst mistakes ever made was the firing of bruce boudreau in 2011.

    • polegojim - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      What does that have to do with the GM?????

      You’re talking about the PLAYERS!

      The Front Office put together a good team… whose leadership has failed, including OVI.

  7. joey4id - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    It’s time to make some changes…. Enough said about GMGM already.

    Start by getting rid of the 30+ year old players and replace them with prospects. Start shopping Green. Untouchables should be, Backstrom, Wilson, Brown, Johansson, Carlson, Ovi (hold him for another 2 years). Everybody else on the trading block.

  8. ron322 - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    I’ve been saying for 2 years the Caps will never win anything as long as Ovi is here, we need a 2 way forward not a one way, that’s why the Russians did so poorly Ovi, Semin, Kovulchuk ( sorry) all one way players.

  9. gunnyhighway88 - Mar 8, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    Any intelligent fan knew that the Caps were not going to make the playoffs before the Olympic Break. The rest of their games this year are brutal. They lost way too many games earlier this year that they should’ve won. They need to get rid of George McPhee. He has put together a team that can’t win. He refuses to take make any big moves after the Jagr debacle.

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