Friday, January 21, 2011

The Home Stands That Were: One Goat's Opinion
Home Games 20–26 - December 21, 2010–January 8, 2011

I've put together an admittedly slap-dash recap of the home games that have taken place since the last post I did on this subject. It's a little more "stream of consciousness" than usual, but I figured it was better than leaving the gaping hole. Hopefully someone else will agree.

On The Ice
These seven games had it all. Everything from a drubbing of a struggling opponent (for their first home win in weeks), a tightly fought battle against a bitter rival (in a preview of the most-hyped regular season game in league history), a near-masterful choke-hold game to exact a tiny measure of vengeance from April, and the first scoreless game through 65 minutes in Caps history (to immediately take some of the bloom off of the Winter Classic victory rose - ugh).

In The Stands
As with the games, the crowds were a bit of a mixed bag as well. There were big and raucous crowds for games against the Penguins and the red-hot Canucks on a Friday night, and smallish, less excitable congregations on a few other nights. The quietest of all, as pointed out by the fine folks at On Frozen Blog, was the 3-0 shutout win over Montreal. I would venture to say that the incredible vacuum on the power play and recent Capitals collapses had more to do with the subdued, perhaps even cautious atmosphere in the building that night, but it was definitely unsettling.

Now that football season is winding to a close, and the holidays are behind us, we should see a truer barometer of where the fanbase sits on this year's edition of the Washington Capitals.

And So…
The All-Star break, trade deadline, and the stretch-run leading into the playoffs are all looming pretty large on the horizon. It'd be nice to see the Caps have a little more of a lock on a playoff spot in the next few weeks. It's not likely that the other contending teams in the Southeast division, or the rest of the Eastern conference, for that matter, are going to take their foots off of the gas pedal. There are still a lot of questions about this hockey team at this point in the season. Probably a few more than anybody would have liked, but none that are really beyond answering between now and the the beginning of April.

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