Wow, what a difference a week makes, huh?
The Caps, who came out swinging in their first two games, went down flailing in their last three going from 2-0-0 to 2-2-1.
Ordinarily, I’d break down the games with a quick blurb about the game, and some noteable notes, but I feel your pain Caps fans. We don’t really want to re-live last week do we?
I didn’t think so.
How is it that the Caps are playing this poorly?
1) You gotta play D – Defense isn’t just in your own zone; it’s at center ice and in the attack zone as well. You are going to turn the puck over sometimes and you need to be ready to stop them before they cross center ice.
2) Watch those penalties – Watch your stick; keep it low. If you keep your stick low to the ice at all times you lessen the chances of hooking and high sticking penalties. Watch your opponents’ feet. Keep your stick outta there and you avoid the trip penalty. I’m not saying that’s an easy task, but it’s a lot easier than playing PK all night.
3) A goal is a goal – Goals don’t always have to be pretty. Stuff-ins, tuck-ins, rebounds; if it crosses the goal line it counts. Get some bodies in front of the net then start taking your shots. If you can see the net…shoot; then let your guys in front of the net play whack-a-mole with the puck.
Now last week wasn’t all bad news. The Caps lost each of their games by one goal, so nothing was ever out of reach; they weren’t blow outs, just a few bad nights. The Caps played some good hockey, but in the end they just came up a little short.
Here are some things to put a smile on a Caps-fan’s face
– Center Brendan Morrison has four points in his last four games (3g-1a) and stands fifth on the team in scoring (tied for third in goals). Last season, with Anaheim , Morrison didn’t record his fourth point until Nov. 16. He has at least one shot on goal in all five games this season and has scored on half of the shots he has taken. His ice time has been above 16:00 in each of the last three games; in the first two games he skated under 15:00 per game.
– Alex Ovechkin had nine shots on goal in Saturday’s game at Detroit and 10 hits. That matched his hit total from the first four games of the season and moved him into a tie for second in the league in hits (20). His 35 shots on goal are 11 more than any other player in the league (nearly double any other Cap). Ovechkin assisted on Brendan Morrison’s power-play goal, moving him into a share of the NHL scoring lead with teammate Nicklas Backstrom and two others.
– Goaltender Jose Theodore has a .930 save percentage in his three starts this season (80 saves, 6 GA), including a .924 save percentage in the Caps’ last two losses. He stopped 34 of 37 shots against the Red Wings Saturday night.
– Washington already has six power-play goals this season (6-for-24, 25%), including at least one in every game. The Capitals are still without a PPG from their top two power-play goal scorers last season (Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green). All five of Ovechkin’s goals have come at even strength.
– Washington has three of the top 5 point-leaders in the league (Ovechkin-10, Backstrom-10, and Semin-9), and two of the top 5 goal scorers (Ovechkin-5 and Semin-5)
The Week Ahead
This week starts tonight with the Caps back home against the Devils, and they stay home all week facing the Sharks on Thursday and Predators on Saturday. For those of you keeping score, that’s two more playoff teams from last year they will be facing this week. The Caps went 2-0-2 last year versus the Devils, lost the only game they played versus the Sharks, and won both their games versus the Predators in OT.
So it doesn’t really get any easier Caps fans, but with a sold out Verizon Center should help the them feel right at home this week!
Rock the Red and as always…