Oilers Too Slick for Capitals, Caps Lose 3 Straight
Just a week ago the Washington Capitals were on top of the world and were making a push to be on top of the Eastern Conference as well. Now the team seems to be skating on thin ice after losing their third straight game, which ties the season’s worst streak for the Caps.
The recent losses certainly don’t stem from a lack of offensive output. The Capitals outshot the Oilers 36-23 despite losing 5-2. Although shut out against the Blue Jackets last Friday (again despite a large shooting advantage of 45-23), the Caps put up 4 goals against the Canadians in a 5-4 loss and managed 2 goals against the Oilers while losing 5-2.
However, a closer look would reveal that while shots on goal aren’t the problem, maintaining a consistent offense and creating quality scoring opportunities may be. Many of the Capitals shots are long distance and manage to end up on net, as opposed to close range put ins and odd man rush opportunities. Additionally, some of their long shots result in break opportunities for the opposing team as the Capitals fail to get back on defense.
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That speaks to a larger problem for the Capitals, the goals that they are allowing. That’s two straight games giving up an unacceptable 5 goals a piece. Defensive lapses offering up easy scoring chances and inconsistent goalkeeping on easier plays are both issues that the team will need to resolve in the next few months if they hope to make a serious playoff run.
The Capitals are still in 2 nd place in the Eastern Conference despite their recent skid. The Capitals have 57 points, the Rangers and the Canadiens are close behind with 56 points and Flyers with 55 are all within striking range.
A game with the rival Penguins is up next, followed by a showdown against conference leader Boston on Saturday. Both games provide a great opportunity for the Capitals to either rebound or regain their confidence or continue a midseason slump.
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer