There have been very few things that the Washington Capitals have done right so far this season. Whether it’s been low-scoring on offense, bad strategies on the defense, or poor play between the pipes, there have been no signs of a winning team in Washington.
In their game against the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, the Capitals showed everything that fans at the Verizon Center have been yearning to see for twelve games. Scoring five goals on offense, the team crashed the net on almost every opportunity. This game was the first time that the Capitals scored more than three goals this season.
Goalie Braden Holtby dueled off against former Capitals goalie Jose Theodore, and this game was a game of two goaltenders. Theodore, the french-born goalie, played two whole seasons with the Capitals. He posted a nice 9.05 GAA with the team, but in the end he never won a playoff game. He allowed 11 goals, and in this game it seemed like the Capitals were trying to get back at him for his poor play when it mattered. Theodore was visibly upset with his five-goal allowance, his worst performance of the season.
Holtby had a completely different game. This season has been a season of mostly downs for the young Holtby. He started the year giving up six goals to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and he has never been the same. In this game however, he shined bright. He pitched his first shut-out of the year in his star-studded performance.
It should be interesting to see what head coach Adam Oates does with his goalie situation in his next game. The team has a lengthy break until Tuesday against who else, but the Panthers. I expect Oates to keep Michal Neuvirth on the bench, and let Holtby between the pipes for at least one more game.