Found February 01, 2013 on
Blog So Hard Sports:
Where can Caps fans place the blame? The Washington Capitals are arguably noted as one of the most dominant hockey teams in recent years during the regular season, but has a huge monkey on their backs for not being able to reach the Stanley cup during the Alexander Ovechkin era. Since the 2007-08 season, the Capitals have amassed a 237-125-48 record; finishing first in the division four times and finishing second once. However this is not the case during this lockout-shortened season. Throughout the first 7 games, the Caps have looked nothing like the past teams. They have gotten off to a 1-5-1 start, easily the worst start in franchise history. 7 games in the Capitals have scored only 15 goals (23rd in league) and have allowed 25 goals (3rd worst in league). Caps goalie Braden Holtby, who was the unsung hero during the team’s run to the playoffs last season, has allowed 10 pucks into the net after two starts and has a 5.44 Goals Against Average. After being benched the Caps turned to Czech goalie Michal Neuvirth. Neuvirth has fared better in five games posting a 2.97 GAA alongside 173 saves while allowing 15 total goals. However his 2.97 GAA is tied for 30th in the league. Washington’s defense has not been the same as they were in the past, losing its hard hitting luster. The offense is not generating enough points. Alexander Ovechkin is off to a slow start after scoring under 90 points for the first time in his career last season, and only has two goals and an assist throughout the first seven games. Has Ovie hit his peak and is starting to decline at the tender age of 27? From what I’ve seen Ovie isn’t playing with the same passion as he did during his MVP seasons in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 when he amassed 112, 110 and 109 points in that order. He won the Hart trophy twice during that span, and won the Art Ross trophy as the top scorer in NHL during 2007-2008 season scoring 112 points. This year Ovie has only three points and the team scoring leader is Mike Ribeiro who has 8 points (1 goal, 7 assists) in 7 games. The potent Capital offense isn’t around anymore or are they just completely in a funk where they did not have proper summer training, and did not have preseason and training camp to build team chemistry? From my standpoint throughout the first 7 games, the Capitals are nothing but a team looking lost on the ice. After seeing Ovie score a goal against the Maple Leafs last night, he wasn’t as passionate as he used to be as his celebrations and hard hits are missing. Who is to blame behind the Capitals’ struggle? Should we have fired Bruce Boudreau who led the capitals to 5 playoff appearances? Sure he had a huge monkey on his back for not being able to reach the Eastern conference finals often losing in the semifinals. Current head coach Adam Oates, a hall of fame player who played in the NHL for 20 seasons was known for his play-making style, scoring 1,420 points (341 goals; 1,079 assists) in his career. Will his playing style transfer over to coaching? We should expect the same type of team as we are accustomed to, hard hitting defenders and high scoring offense. Instead we have a complete opposite whereas we are allowing goals and not scoring enough. Who’s to blame? Is it Adam Oates for not pushing his players hard enough, is it because Ovie isn’t leading the team in the right direction, or is it because those guys are completely unprepared for the season? I for one am not the type of a guy to play the blame game, I believe if a team is struggling then there is something wrong going on in the locker room. However, this is business and change is needed when things don’t go right. If the Capitals continue playing like this, expect some drastic changes coming. Related posts: Capitals Season Will Start 1/19 On The Road At Tampa Bay Lightning Capitals Off-season Plans Washington Capitals Half Season Preview: Bold Predictions, Bold Results. Dream Big!
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine elbowed Philadelphia Flyers right winger Wayne Simmonds in the face, yet received no penalty, during the first period of Friday night's NHL game at the Verizon Center. Simmonds had to leave the game with a bloody nose and did not return to the game. Erskine will likely be facing a multiple game suspension from the NHL for his cheap...
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin videobombed teammate Mike Ribiero as he was in the middle of a locker room interview after their morning skate before Tuesday night's game against the Ottawa Senators.
Alex Ovechkin falls over boards into Capitals bench (Video)
Visit us at holdoutsports.com and follow us on Twitter @HoldoutSports.
The Washington Capitals have acquired minor league forwards Peter LeBlanc and Casey Wellman in a pair of trades.
The Capitals got LeBlanc from Chicago in exchange for future considerations. The 24-year-old has four goals and eight assists in 34 games this season with Rockford of the American Hockey League.
Wellman came over in a deal with Florida, which received center Zach Hamill...
The NHL has suspended Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine for three games for elbowing Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds.
Erskine was punished Saturday for a hit he delivered to Simmonds' face that sent him to the ice with a bloody nose late in the first period of Washington's 3-2 victory on Friday night.
Erskine wasn't penalized for the shot that knocked...
Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine was suspended for three games by the NHL for elbowing Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds during the first period of Friday night's game. The three-game suspension will cost Erskine $24,324.33. After throwing what the NHL called a "reckless" elbow that started a fight, Erskine will miss Sunday's afternoon against...
The Florida Panthers have traded forward Casey Wellman to the Washington Capitals in exchange for forward Zach Hamill.
Hamill, 24, was the eighth overall pick of the Boston Bruins in the 2007 NHL entry draft. In his NHL career, he has four assists and four PIM in 20 games played (all with the Bruins).
He has played in 40 games this season with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey...
Let’s face it, this whole Adam Oates this is not working out for the Washington Capitals.The rookie NHL head coach is off to a 1-5-1 start. He is playing superstar Alex Ovechkin on a line with two muckers. He buried 2012 playoff hero Braden Holtby after two starts in goal, starting Michal Neuvirth in the nets for the next five games. (Holtby will start tonight’s game against...
Alex Ovechkin needs to produce for the Capitals to have a prayer this season. (Clydeorama)
The Washington Capitals are in Toronto, Ontario this evening to take on the Maple Leafs in a critical matchup of Eastern Conference teams this evening. The Capitals, who blew their last game in Ottawa despite leading 2-0, are 1-4-1 and have looked out of sync; they are fourth in the Southeast...
A 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals last night has earned the Flyers the 29th spot in the NHL standings. A combination of sloppy defense and lacking an ability to put the puck in the net has resulted in this […]
The Washington Capitals have experienced their share of struggles early in the season, but that hasn't been the case in recent matchups with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Sidney Crosby and company have been pretty solid on the road, though.
Washington looks to gain at least a point for the 16th time in the last 17 meetings as Pittsburgh seeks its fifth victory in six road games...
The Leafs score two 3rd period goals to ruin another solid Neuvirth performance. (CBC.ca)
The Washington Capitals fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night by a 3-2 score, their second consecutive loss in the province of Ontario by that scoreline. Holding a 2-1 lead into the third period, Washington conceded two quick goals near the middle of the final frame and could...
Wayne Simmonds was on the receiving end and has not played since plus no penalty on the play.
Erksine did get challenged by Zac Rinaldo and both received 5 for fighting and a 10.
Pittsburgh Penguins (5-3-0) @ Washington Capitals (2-5-1)
NBC, TSN2 - 12:30 pm/et
Verizon Center - Washington, DC
"Crosby versus Ovechkin" may no longer have the same luster as it once did, but games against the Capitals are still fun.
Tomas Vokoun will start against his former team. Apparently there's some other sporting event on today too...