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Morning After: Rod B**ch’Amour

Apr 5, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Washington Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery reacts against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be honest for a second here. The Washington Capitals had no business walking out of Raleigh last night with any points whatsoever. That fact on its own is pretty indisputable to anyone who watched this game.

HOWEVER…hockey games aren’t decided by who *should* win a game or whether one team simply deserves the points more. In fact, we have decades of experience to tell us that this is often not how things go. While the Caps played a sloppy game last night, were hemmed into their own zone for the majority of it, and even had a bad turnover right before the refs decided to call a penalty, another indisputable fact is that the Caps were tied with the Hurricanes up to that point and could have maybe scrapped out at least a point.

That is, until the refs decided to play into Rod Brind’Amour’s incessant whining, making the wrong call on a penalty that shouldn’t have happened (while missing one that should have by the ‘Canes minutes before, and a few others the rest of the night including a blatant blindside hit by Sebastian Aho). And, as is so often the case when the refs insert themselves into a game and make a horrible call, it came back to bite the Caps in the butt.

Again, this did not happen in a vacuum. The Caps had, and squandered, many chances of their own to take a lead, extend the lead, and earn the points free and clear – and they didn’t, something that’s becoming a theme in this losing skid that now extends to five games. The power play was abysmal, the puck possession nonexistent, the finishing (aside from the captain) poor. Officiating is not the only reason the Caps left PNC Arena with no points.

But it was a damn big reason…and that’s going to sting.

(And Rod Brind’Amour can eat a whole pile of porcupines.)

After that rant, just the one takeaway today…

  • Darcy Kuemper was ridiculously good for the Caps last night, and was the only reason they even had a shot at hanging on for a point or more. Prior to this game, it was starting to feel like Kuemper was unplayable (and given the long run of games for Charlie Lindgren leading up to it, that seemed to be the consensus among the coaching staff, as well). Does one night make up for a long stretch of pretty rough outings for Kuemper? No. But anyone out there trying to say that Kuemper’s performance had anything to do with the loss can just take a seat.

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