How To Prepare For The Rest Of The Caps Season

Being a half-decent sports fan is about moderating expectations.

You don't want to be that guy or girl who goes into every season saying "this year is ours because reasons" because if you do, you'll wind up crying in the corner clutching your jersey and listening to sad Radiohead. You don't want that.

A 4-3 loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh saw the Capitals slide to third in the Metropolitan division, their third loss in a row. It was a good effort by the visiting Caps but, like always, almost every Capitals goal saw a Penguins equalizer shortly after.

And on cue with 1:54 to go, the Penguins scored a gut-punch goal from rookie defenseman Olli Maatta. It was oh-vah.

It was the worst way to end an otherwise good effort from the Caps. It was a thorough kicking to any hopes of Caps fans. This one will leave a mark.

And it will help me shape my expectations for this team from here on out so I won't end up clinging to my Alexander Ovechkin and rocking on the floor listening to How To Disappear Completely while sobbing. Yay fandom. 

(This is coming from someone who watched more University of Virginia games this year than you can count on one hand. Trust me, I have some experience with this.)

I don't think the Capitals are going to make the playoffs, so if they do, it will be a bonus. But they'll probably make a late push just to add to the torture.

Ovechkin will lead the league in goals again, giving Capitals fans another hollow victory in another disappointing season.

Mikhail Grabovski will bail in free agency. If only there were an up-and-coming young center within the Capitals organization to fill that void.

Volpatti extension.

The Capitals will continue to rotate their goalies and none of them will grasp the starter's spot. Braden Holtby will continue to get spot starts and never gain his confidence back. Michal Neuvirth will start most of the games and Phillip Grubaber will get a shot late in the season. None of them will be traded.

Speaking of trades, the Capitals will trade Martin Erat at the deadline for a bag of magic beans. None of the beans in the bag will be a defenseman worth anything. Or, setting the bar even lower for the general manager who shall not be named in this blog, they'll hold on to him for the rest of the season! Healthy scratches through April! Hooray!

To keep the bad luck going, I would not be the slightest bit surprised if one of the Capitals gets hurt during the Olympics. I pray that this isn't a jinx and someone does get hurt, but it would surprising in the last.

Mike Green will continue to take dumb penalties and be bad. Par for this year.

John Erskine will turn into a giant slab of granite and conspicuously go missing around the same time that the Verizon Center gets fancy new countertops in its suites.

Volpatti extension.

Tom Wilson will lose all the rest of his fights.

The Verizon Center will start selling these at all its concession stands.

Maria Kirilenko will go on an absolute tear this summer with Ovechkin in the stands, happily playing the role of mascot/cameraman fodder between shots.

Evgeny Kuznetzov will finally announce that he will never play in the NHL. Traktor will rip off eight consecutive championships.

Bruce Boudreau will win a Stanley Cup with the Ducks. He will be the happiest, tiny little red-faced, fat-fingered man in all of Anaheim. Matthieu Perreault will score the series-clenching goal. Cameras will later catch Perreault ladling Haagen-Dazs into Boudreau's mouth from the Stanley Cup using a giant golden spoon.

Volpatti extension.

There. That ought to do it. Gird your loins and prepare for the worst. Anything less will be a pleasant surprise.