It’s starting to feel like none of these wild-card chasing teams in the Eastern Conference really want to make the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Washington Capitals were blown to bits tonight by the Dallas Stars, in a game that both teams needed to win, but you wouldn’t have thought that from the 5-0 scoreline.
Dallas is in a tight playoff race with the Phoenix Coyotes over in the Western Conference.
The Capitals are chasing the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final wild-card spot in the East. Both teams were in action this evening: the CBJ earned an overtime point after blowing a 2-0 lead against the Colorado Avalanche; the Caps, well, they were smoked like Texas hickory steak.
With a six season playoff streak on the line – the fourth longest in the National Hockey League – the Washington Capitals weren’t able to earn a single point, adding fuel to an already slow burning Eastern Conference wild-card fire.
Goaltender Jaroslav Halak was pulled in the second-period after the Caps allowed two goals in a span of 34 seconds to trail 3-0. However, at that point, midway through the game, the Caps had already allowed 23 shots against.
The Dallas Stars landed 29 shots on goal, and assembled an insurmountable 3 goal lead through two-periods. But they popped in a few more in the third, while the Caps were desperately chasing the game.
If all the wild-card vying clubs in the East win out the rest of their games, the Columbus Blue Jackets will qualify for the postseason and the Capitals, along with the Maple Leafs and shootout cursed Devils, will miss. But that’s not going to happen. With a handful of games remaining – some teams with five; some with six – a lot can still go wrong, or right.
The Capitals are still very much alive; but no more no-shows, or they’re dead at 82-games.