In Your Opinion: How to Fix the Caps

Posted January 28, 2013

There are no shortage of opinions on Alex Ovechkin (Photo by Clyde Caplan)

The Washington Capitals are off to a slow 1-3-1 start and folks aren’t holding back on their opinions. Loyal fans have definite ideas about the team, and what they need to do to create a winning season.

Don Masline, an elementary school principal from Lake Anna, VA, and avid Caps fan said, ”As disappointing as the season has begun, the Caps have a learning curve with their new coach. I believe if they listen to him and follow his game plan as well as stay out of the penalty box, they will be successful. The other teams in the Southeast have improved so they will clearly have to step up their game in this shortened season.”

“Until Alex Ovechkin realizes that his legacy and the Capitals ability to win a Stanley Cup is dependent on him becoming a better two-way hockey player, the Capitals will not be considered a contender,” explained Brent Lehmkuhl, a Howard Huskies youth hockey head coach who also plays on five adult league hockey teams. “He should take a lesson from Steve Yzerman and how Scotty Bowman cemented his hall-of-fame credentials by convincing him that he needed to do more than just score goals. He needed to be a player that the coach could put out on the ice in the final minutes of a playoff game to help hold a lead. Ovechkin needs to do the same for the Capitals to have success.”

Hannah Kroll of Washington, D.C. has been a Caps fan for twenty years, “They need to step up their game, rearrange the lines, and adjust to learning to be a team.”

Andy Banks, a senior at the University of Maryland and adult league hockey player, has his own ideas about the Caps. “They need to find out which goalie is going to perform well consistently. They need to improve their power play and get more shots on goal during a power play.”

“Oates’s system is good, but Ovechkin is playing badly. A new coach, a new system and a new position just don’t mix, especially with no training camp,” says Bailey More, a high school senior from Laytonsville, MD. More plays for the Little Capitals U18 team and, with a 32-13-1 record, he certainly knows how to contribute to a winning season. “I practice in the rink right next to them and I can tell you the D is out of shape. Back to back games will be good for them. I think they’ll make the playoffs. I’m not worried one bit.”

Whatever the outcome this season, one thing is certain: Fans are happy to have a NHL hockey season at all. They may get frustrated, a smattering of boo-birds might be heard among the supportive chants at the Verizon Center, but steadfast, devoted fans will always stand behind their Caps.