Capitals Fans: Keep Calm and Ovi On


Nov 4, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) stands on the ice prior to the Capitals

Watching your team go on a five-game losing streak is never fun. If you’re a Washington Capitals fan, it may seem like this is the same old Capitals team; rich with talent but can’t put the pieces together.

And after starting the season 4-1-2, gaining just one point in the standings in the last five games can be a cause for concern.

But it shouldn’t be. Not this early.

Yes Barry Trotz’s team has dropped five straight and have allowed at least four goals in each game during the span. Yes, both goaltenders – Braden Holtby and Justin Peters – have struggled as of recent.

The team certainly needs to sure up the defense, and I have faith that the team will. Trotz is only in his first year with the team and is still implementing his system. The team brought in new defenders – Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen – from Pittsburgh. That defensive chemistry will continue to be a work in progress during the early part of the season.

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Trotz has also been switching up the lines regularly – another factor influencing chemistry. Rookie Andre Burakovsky has been moved to the first line, sending Nicklas Backstrom to the second. Tom Wilson and Evgeny Kuznetsov have moved around, but have been effective at times.

In time, the defense will toughen up. There are too many talented and experienced players on the roster for it not too.

One bright spot has been the offense.

Although Alex Ovechkin went through a short goal drought, he still leads the team in points with 13 (six goals and seven assists) in 12 games. Tuesday night, he became the franchise’s all-time leader in points. Surprising? No. What was surprising is that it came on an assist, not a goal. The Great 8 now has 826 regular-season points. It only took him 691 games to accomplish what took now-second place Peter Bondra 961 games.

The assist went to a goal from Backstrom, who continues to set up other players. He’s tied for fourth in the NHL in assists with 10.

Joel Ward is also tied for the team-lead in goals with six.

Washington is averaging a hair over three goals per game, which should be enough goals to win more games than lose them. The Caps power play percentage is also second in the NHL at 29.3 percent.

Again, in order for the Washington Capitals to turn the season around, the defense will have to toughen up. And it has plenty of time to do that.

Washington still has 70 games left in the season. The Capitals can get back on track just as quickly as they got derailed.

Trotz will look to do just that Friday night at Chicago. The puck will drop at 8:30 p.m.