The lack of perspective and balance in the coverage of hockey in this town is truly amazing.
The Caps go 9-5-1 in January and euphoria prevails -- reporters act as if the playoffs were a foregone conclusion. Then the Caps lose just two games (only one of which they were expected to win) and the prophets of gloom and doom return with talk of "lost weekends" and "frigid February" and the implied threat that the franchise may go the way of the old Brooklyn Dodgers.
Hogwash. It is time for the sports reporters in this town to stop putting the fans on an emotional roller coaster -- unrealistically building up their hopes one day and then dashing them with overly critical commentary the next.
The Caps will lose two in a row (like the Islanders) or three in a row (like the Boston Bruins), or even four or five in a row now and then. But these are not the "old" Caps -- the days of 10-game losing streaks and ridicule as the worst team in the league are gone forever.
The team may not make the playoffs this year (after their horrible start, who would have thought they would even come close?). But they are still the most improved team in hockey. They have the talent and the draft choices to make the playoffs next year and -- more importantly -- continue to make them year after year. And the attendance during the month of January makes it obvious that the Caps are on the threshold of becoming an outstanding franchise in the National Hockey League.