Coming into Saturday night’s game against the Florida Panthers, the Washington Capitals were in the middle of a three game losing streak and in desperate need of a victory in front of their home. In the Verizon Center, they did just that. During their almost perfect game, the Capitals were perfect on offense. That is something that hasn’t been said too much during the beginning portion of the season.
Braden Holtby was absolutely terrific, just like the entire game. The reason to the Capitals success could be because of one thing that they haven’t been doing quite well early in this lockout shortened season: Starting the job!
Everyone knows that if you want to finish the job, you first have to start it. Something that has plagued the Capitals this year has been getting down early and never being able to come back. And it isn’t just the game as a whole we are looking at, it’s even the little things that Washington has been starting slower than they have in year’s past.
Take power plays for example. Many fans have been absolutely puzzled by the lack of success that the Caps have been having. In previous years, the PP was completely dominant. This season has been different. The man-up squad has started slow and because of that, scoring has been at a minimum every chance they get.
Goal-tending is another prime example of this costly trend. Not matter if it’s been Holtby or Michal Neuvirth, the poor play between the pipes has been because of poor starts. Not enough momentum has been given for these guys to have great games when the Capitals need them most.
Looking at the upcoming schedule for Washington, they are going to need every bit of help they can get. If they can get strong starts and big plays early, success is in the near future.