Monday, February 11, 2013
Can the Caps turn this around?
By Luke Lapinski
The Washington Capitals have routinely been considered a contender for the Stanley Cup in recent years. At the very least, they're usually expected to make the playoffs with the potential to do some damage. But very little is going right for them this season. In fact, 12 games in, they sit last in the entire league at 3-8-1.
Dan Rosen of NHL.com writes that it may very well be panic time for Adam Oates' group. Sure, we're only 12 games deep, but that's a quarter of the season this year. And they just don't have many positives to build on at the moment. They're not holding onto leads (1-4 when scoring the first goal -- normally a good way to start a game) and not scoring nearly as often as one might expect when glancing at the names on the roster (2.50 goals per game, good for No. 21 in the NHL).
Of course, there's a fine line to walk here. Shortened season or not, 12 games is still only 12 games. And it's fair to note that Oates is in his first season as a head coach -- and had a week of training camp to make his mark on his new team. It's certainly not inconceivable that he gets his guys playing better hockey soon. But time is running out. And the shaky performances in goal by both Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby only makes a turnaround that much more difficult.