We the People…Face Late Disappointment, Again

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Posted January 31, 2013

Everyday, the silent majority gets louder, thanks in no small part to the innovative invention of Twitter.  So when Verizon shakes and TVs are thrown, reactions can explode into 140 characters (or less) of awkward brilliance.  While you may love your followers, we here at Capitals Outsider want to make sure they aren’t the only ones to see your in-game gems.  #wethepeople

Searching for the panic button? Starting a trade list?

After Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s understandable. The Capitals have won only one game in seven. They only break from the bottom 10 in standard NHL stats when it comes to PIMs per game (15.3), power play goals (5) and power play percentage (17.9). Recently, the team has been playing better than, well, their first three games. In the four since, the Caps have gotten three of eight possible points.

Considering the past two have garnered a total of zero, there’s concern.

While Alex Ovechkin is scoring as often in a three-game span as one might expect, Joel Ward has double the goals as a result of consistency. So the fact that Ward opened up the game less than two minutes in is no surprise. He’s Washington’s leading goal-scorer after all. As much as that may seem like a problem, it’s better than no one scoring.

 

 

But then, there were the penalties again. And again, and again. Five in 10 minutes to be exact. As the numbers indicate, they were not “good” penalties, but those that a player not completely in control takes. Two hooking, one interference, one high-sticking and one unsportsmanlike.

 

 

To be fair, the Caps only allowed one goal in all the penalty kill time.

Three penalties followed those five in the next period where Washington held Toronto scoreless. Ovechkin provided a high point on the power play with his second goal of the season with another snipe from the faceoff circle. With two goals from the same spot in the last three games, overreaction may be expected considering it happens when the captain doesn’t score.

 

 

 

Oddly enough, the penalty issue wasn’t what (directly) killed the Caps. The third period, where Nikolai Kulemin and Matt Frattin scored two unanswered goals, had no penalties. It in fact was a new issue, that of actually getting pucks to the net. The Caps only had two shots in the first 10 minutes of the third period. Four of the nine that period came in the last five minutes.

While it’s easy to look at offense when there are issues, it should be considered that most Washington forwards haven’t looked consistently horrible. Michal Neuvirth has proven to be a solid presence in net. But Jeff Schultz and Tomas Kundratek were both -2 and John Carlson‘s play throughout the season has been inconsistent.

This a team that has proven they can play well through two periods. It’s really just cruel to throw it away in the third.