Through the first three games, the Washington Capitals have been outscored 14-6. Over the three game skid, the Capitals have had trouble in every facet of the game. The offense has been dry sustaining any real chances, the defense has been average to say the least and the goaltending has been about as bad as the team’s worst nightmare.
As the boo’s rained down at the Verizon Center, Washington fell to Montreal 4-1 on Thursday night. They were out-shot yet again, and the “powerful” Capital offense proved that something must be done, and quickly. It all will start with leadership at the top. The captain Alexander Ovechkin must get his play going.
Ovechkin has had the slowest start of his recent career, registering only one point (assist) over this three-game stretch. Thursday’s game showed to be another scoreless outing for the left wing. He registered a mere three shots in a game where chances were at a minimum. For “The Great Eight”, he must start taking better shots. This will be critical for him and the team going forward.
Not only has Ovie failed to notch a spot in the goal-scoring column, his no-look passes have been killer for the Capitals. He must shake off more defenders and get his other line mates crucial chances. For a team like the Caps, Ovechkin has to get down ice, produce more plays and solidify to the rest of the NHL that he is still the player that he has proven to be in the past.
Friday’s game against the New Jersey Devils will be a great task for Ovechkin. In his previous 26 games against the Devils, he has notched 30 points and has his third-best +/- against any team with a solid 15. I expect him to break out of his early slump, and get things going for a struggling Washington team.