In previous years that the Washington Capitals have been in the playoffs, they have proven that they had certain phases of the game that are better than others. The power play has always been strong, but other areas have been shining in years past too. This year however has been very different.
Washington still has a very legitamite shot at making the playoffs, and I actually like their chances. That doesn’t hide the fact, however, that they have many flaws in their game. It isn’t just one phase either. The Capitals are simply a very average team.
Could they be the most average team in the NHL? Think about it for a second. When it comes to goaltending, nobody has stepped up and shown that they can be a dominate player in between the pipes. On the other hand, anyone that has played hasn’t been awful. They have held their own, but they aren’t great or awful… just average!
Let’s look at Adam Oates’ team when it comes to the power play. The Capitals are currently the best team in the league when they are up a man, Mike Ribeiro has been unstoppable, their penalty kill has been labeled one of the worst in the league, and it shows. The Capitals are ranked 27th when they have to kill of the opponents power play.
Individual players have shown nothing to prove that they are consistent either. It’s just confusing.
I like the chances that the Capitals make the big time playoffs, but they will have to put the pieces together if they want to make a huge run.