Thursday, February 7, 2013
Caps search for answers against the Pens
The Capitals must find some consistency soon in this shortened season. Coming off a 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs on Tuesday, they continue to have scoring problems. In the first ten games the Caps have yet to score more than three goals in a game. This puts a lot more pressure on the goaltending which has been adequate as of late behind Michal Neuvirth. The Caps are improving on the PP and PK despite their losing record. On Tuesday they converted on 2 of 3 power plays and were perfect on the penalty kill.
Tonight the Caps take on the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second time this week. They are currently second in the Eastern Conference and are currently on a four game winning streak. If Washington is to end this they have to start finding the net, namely Alex Ovechkin. He is having the worst start to his career logging only two goals in 10 games. The only Caps player that is consistently scoring is new edition, Mike Ribeiro who is proven valuable with three goals and eight assists on the year. Since Ribeiro has been paired with Ovechkin he is averaging over five shots a game which is an improvement. The way he is moving the puck one has to think Ovi is on the brink of a breakthrough.
In Washington’s last 10 visits to Pittsburgh they are 9-0-1. Their last regulation loss to the Pens was February 18, 2007, so let’s hope tonight extends that streak. Nicklas Backstrom is currently on a five game point streak despite talk of his recent struggles. He has logged 1 goal and five assists in the past five games. Michal Neuvirth will be the starter in goal again tonight against the Pens. Neuvy stats have not been where we want them to be with a .893 save percentage and 2.99 GAA. Marc Andre-Fleury will be between the pipes for the Pens.
Adam Oates and his team have to start answering the problems within this struggling team. The media and fan base seem to already doubt the new coach and his system. At some point we have to trust a coach to take us where we desire, which ultimately is a shot at Lord Stanley. There have also been some trade rumors the past few days with talk of GMGM contacting other teams. We will see what happens, but as of now let’s focus on getting that third win and something we can build on. For the people who think Ovi is going to get traded, start riding the short bus because it is simply not an option. Prediction: Ovi will score tonight and the Caps will pull out a win. Keep the Faith! Rock the Red! Unleash the Fury!!!!