The Big Picture
What a set diverse set of games it was for your Washington Capitals. Over the last week the Caps played three very different games, we had a high scoring track meet against the LA Kings, got steamrolled by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and then did some steamrolling of our own in San Jose. Overall the Caps played a good set of games against a couple of really strong teams. We saw the continued rebound of Kuzy back from his mid season slump, as we as Oshie return to form.
Standings wise the Caps are trailing the NY Islanders by just three points in the Metro division. The upcoming schedule isn’t very difficult either, Washington has a chance to move up in the standings over the next few weeks.
The Last Week
W vs LA 6-4 (2/11)
If you like defense look away, hey offense lovers, this one’s for you.
This game started off fast and furious in the first period with the teams each scoring two goals including Ovi’s 38th goal on the season, and Brett Connolly scoring a goal to notch his 30th a point on the season, a first for him. LA would score first in the second to take a 3-2 lead, but after that the floodgates would open for Washington as they knocked in three straight in the second period with the highlight being Christian Djoos’ first of the season. The final frame featured a goal per team.
Evgeny Kuznetsov has been on an absolute tear in the recent games, tonight might have been his best one yet with two goals and two assists. Alexander Ovechkin also nabbed a goal and a pair of assists to pass current Carolina Hurricane head coach Rod Brind’Amour to move into 48th on the NHL’s all time point list. Defensively speaking, specifically in the first period of the game, there was much to be desired. Up until the third goal of the game for the Kings, Washington’s defense was slow and lazy, maybe falling behind for the first time of the night was the slap in the face the team needed because the effort improved drastically.
Overall the team went 4-1-1 over the course of the six game home stand, about as well as we could’ve reasonable hoped considering they lost seven straight before it.
L @ CBJ 3-0 (2/12)
I know, the score doesn’t look pretty, but oh my this game was worse than the score conveys. It felt like we spend in the entire game stuck in the Washington zone. In the first two periods the Caps had only seven shots on goal, SEVEN. They didn’t have a single high danger shot in the entire game, Braden Holtby was simply left out to dry.
If you thought that was bad, just wait, I’m only getting started. In terms of penalties the Capitals committed five over the course of the game including an infuriating mental error on the entire team for too many on the ice. Washington was outplayed in every aspect of the game, shots were 32-20, faceoffs 33-18, penalties ten minutes to four, all in favor of Columbus.
To me it is becoming clear that the Caps need to add some help at the deadline, hopefully a 3rd line forward of some kind. They have struggled against the top tier of the league too many times this season for me to be comfortable going into the playoffs. The deadline is only ten days away, time to start making calling Brian.
W @ SJS 5-1 (2/14)
The Capitals six game road trip started off with a bang as Washington blew out the division leader San Jose Sharks. The Sharks drew first blood in this one only a couple minutes in, however after that first one it was ALLCAPS, as Washington would score only a minute later on the powerplay. The pace of play in first period was blazing end to end as the Capitals would score again, this time from Jake Varna.
After the first Washington would start to really get rolling as they would dominate the 2nd period with two goals to none. Ovi would add his 39th of the year and TJ Oshie’s 3rd point of the night would be with 500th career point. Tom Wilson would bury an empty netter with about 2 and a half minutes left in the game.
Overall this one of the better Caps games of late. In the 3rd period the defensive effort was superb as they only allowed 5 shots on goal in the entire period, staggering when the other team is down by three goals. Player of the game in this one has to go to Oshie with two goals and an assist as he surged to the 500 plateau.