Recap: Capitals 6, Maple Leafs 4

[AP Recap - Game Summary - Event Summary - WashingtonCaps.com Post Game]

While enduring the tedium of the hockey-less summer one topic discussed more than once was how the Capitals should handle their home opener and the raising of their 2008-09 Southeast Division Champions banner.  Naturally, the team had to acknowledge their achievement, to put up a banner, and to give the fans a chance to celebrate a little bit.  But to make a huge ceremony out of the event would have been a mistake because it would have been, in a sense, saying that winning the Southeast is in and of itself is cause for celebration when, at this point, the team's aspirations should be much higher.  Ted Leonsis and the team's staff handled the banner-raising the right way, something that was reflected in the all-out, get-down-to-business manner in which the team started the game.

Of course the team came out and laid an egg in the third period, a fact that's undeniable no matter how well they played and how many things they did right in the first two.  After the game Bruce Boudreau said he hoped the team had learned "a cheap lesson" and that in the situation the team was in at the second intermission they needed to clamp down and focus on winning the game 6-1 rather than taking risks and trying to win 9-1.  While the point is well taken, it's also worth asking, "shouldn't they already know that?"

Ten additional thoughts on tonight's game:

Here's hoping Boudreau's right that the team learned their lesson tonight, because there won't be nearly as much of a margin for error against the Flyers come Tuesday.

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