SAN JOSE CA - FEBRUARY 17: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks in the first period during an NHL hockey game at the HP Pavilion on February 17 2011 in San Jose California. The Sharks won the game 3-2. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
What a difference a week makes, right? Well, not quite. No one could have predicted the Capitals lighting the lamp seven times in a single game. And we've cheerfully watched more vintage Ovi in California. But wins remain hard to come by for this team. The foundational elements of Boudreau-era Caps hockey are still there but, unfortunately to this point, have not been on display -- consistently -- all at once. Thing is, we may not have anticipated the offensive struggles witnessed this season, but we certainly didn't expect the team to cruise to another Presidents' Trophy.
There are 23 games remaining for the fifth-seeded Caps (still 10th overall in the league), and Conference rivals Boston and Philadelphia have already bolstered their squads in advance of the NHL's trade deadline on Monday, February 28. Each day closer to that date makes Capitals' GM George McPhee's job more difficult in closing a deal to fortify Les Capitals, be it on the blueline, at center, wing, or perhaps all three. Jason Arnott has been an oft-discussed target: does the outcome of tonight's Devils game against the Rangers in Newark help him decide whether to waive his NMC?
Russell and I fire up our headsets for another episode of JRR tomorrow morning at 10am Eastern. We'll welcome at the top of the hour Penguins beat writer Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to chat about the upcoming last regular season game of the 2010-11 campaign between the Caps and Pens, what Pens' GM Ray Shero may -- or may not -- want to shore up by the trade deadline, and all that controversy that's dogged that team this season. We'll then welcome back to the show the inestimable Alan May to get his view on the state of the team, and discuss the recurring themes since November of motivation, leadership, and organizational depth with a eye toward deadline dealing.
Here's your question for tomorrow's show:
Of the two, which is a more desperate need for the Caps: scoring skill on the top two lines, or Cup-winning veteran leadership?
The call in number is (917) 388-4003 and we'll take your questions @japersrinkradio.
Scramble your eggs with us.