Caps’ Struggles Continue

Bruce Boudreau is now in the midst of the worst stretch of his coaching career after the Capitals dropped their fifth straight, losing at home to Colorado 3-2 Saturday night. Even worse, the team has dropped four straight at home, which is practically unheard of for a team that lost 10 games at home all season last year.

The problem for the Capitals has been a dearth of scoring. Including tonight, they’ve scored two or less goals in four of the five losses. The fact that they’re shooting at about 3% during this stretch signifies that a little bit of bad luck has come into play. However, the stars aren’t scoring the way this team needs them to.

Tonight, Alexander Semin’s five minute major turned out to be the difference. Colorado scored on the ensuing power play to take a 3-1 lead, which the Capitals cut to 3-2 but were unable to overcome.

Once again, the Capitals largely carried the play and dominated time of possession. That’s the thing about this losing streak – it’s not like the Capitals are playing terribly, they’re just failing to convert on opportunities and are making too many individual mistakes.

Odds and Ends:

  • One has to wonder how the rest of the team feels about Semin’s five minute major and game misconduct. After Semin decided to get retribution on John-Michael Liles with a cross-check to the helmet in the second after the whistle blew. Just an immature, irrational play by someone who’s been in the league long enough to know better. Stay tuned for a possible suspension from Colin Campbell.
  • The Capitals registered 42 shots and were still unable to notch more than two tallies. That’s 36 or more shots on goal in all five losses. Yes there are flaws that need to be addressed, but it’s insane how little luck they’re having. At some point these shot are bound to start going in.
  • It should be noted that the flu is going around the Capitals’ dressing room and several regulars who skated tonight were said to be under the weather.
  • The Capitals are fifth in the Eastern Conference in goal differential, trailing Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Montreal. Right now they probably aren’t quite as good as any those teams.
  • After a wonderful start to the season, Michael Neuvirth continues to struggle and has now allowed three or more goals in eight of eleven games. His defense hasn’t helped but he also hasn’t bailed them out a whole lot.
  • Throughout this streak the bottom six forwards deserve an honorable mention for their efforts. They’re crashing the net hard and establishing a good forecheck. It was nice to see Matt Hendricks get rewarded with a power play goal tonight.

Despite carrying most of the play at even strength the Capitals were plagued by their own mistakes. Neuvirth let in a soft goal from a sharp angle for the first Avalanche strike. Tom Poti was out of position by about 12 feet which led directly to the second goal, and the Semin penalty led to the game winning tally for the visitors.

If the goal scorers aren’t scoring then the rest of the team has to play relatively mistake free hockey and tonight the Capitals didn’t do it.


Tags: , , , ,

3 Responses to “Caps’ Struggles Continue”

  1. Angie
    December 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    You hit it with the mistake-free hockey. The excuse for every team’s loss is that a couple mistakes beat out an otherwise decent game. However, it’s almost impossible to play a mistake-free game, and the Caps need to learn to minimize those mistakes in quantity and in how badly the mistakes affect them. They played hard tonight against another hard-playing team, but as Brandy said, “Almost doesn’t count.”

    As for Semin, him and that darned stick! His numerous minor stick-infraction penalties are one issue, now this… Just foolish. I think the GM and the boot from the game was good enough punishment, along with a 1-gamer, but I’m not Colin Campbell lol.

  2. Ben Eisenberg
    December 12, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    As Brandy also said, “the boy is mine.” Not really sure how it relates to hockey but that song just came back to me.

    Now that Semin was only fined and not suspended, I see very little chance of Boudreau sitting him.


  1. Will Boudreau Outlast 24/7? | INSIDE HOCKEY - December 19, 2010

    [...] number five to Colorado seemed to be a positive at the time, since the Capitals largely outplayed the Avalanche. Then they lost 7-0 to the Rangers the next day in an all-out embarassing [...]