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It's Not Unusual (Or Is It?)

In his blog today, Caps' owner Ted Leonsis acknowledged the team's poor home record and noted that having a losing record at home "is quite unusual for us as a franchise."

But is it all that unusual? Let's take a look at the Caps' home record since Leonsis et. al. bought the team in May of 1999:
  • 2007-08: 6-9-1
  • 2006-07: 17-17-7
  • 2005-06: 16-18-7
  • 2003-04: 13-20-6-2
  • 2002-03: 24-13-2-2
  • 2001-02: 21-12-6-2
  • 2000-01: 24-9-6-2
  • 1999-00: 26-5-8-2
That's seven full seasons and only two in which the team had more regulation losses than wins (and in 2005-06, it was only by two games) - not bad, considering some of the recent *ahem* lean seasons. Then again, if we're counting all losses as, you know, losses, it looks slightly different and the bad years look appropriately bad:
  • 2007-08: 6-10
  • 2006-07: 17-24
  • 2005-06: 16-25
  • 2003-04: 13-22-6
  • 2002-03: 24-15-2
  • 2001-02: 21-14-6
  • 2000-01: 24-11-6
  • 1999-00: 26-7-8
In other words, since the last playoff appearance, the Caps' have won 52 and lost 81 home games. Some would say that would make this season's losing home record not at all "unusual." Then again, the current downswing has come on the heels of a dominant 95-39-22-8 home record in the first four seasons of the Leonsis Regime. So what is usual and what is unusual is, I suppose, in the eye of the season ticket-holder*.

The bottom line is that it's time for the Caps to reclaim a home ice advantage - no matter how crappy the ice or how sparse the crowds - and everyone in the organization knows it, from the top on down. That effort continues tonight against the Habs.

* Of course, the lawyer in me must note that when Leonsis wrote "[w]e have a losing record at Verizon Center which is quite unusual for us as a franchise," he's inarguably wrong - all of those winning home records were achieved at the MCI Center (and this is where I'd insert a winking emoticon, were I not so ardently anti-emoticon).