Despite Struggles, Caps Keep Winning

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Posted December 15, 2015

(Caps Outsider)

We all know that the Caps have been winning recently, most recently against Pittsburgh on Monday, 4-1. But these wins aren’t coming easy. Despite the victories, the Caps are struggling in some areas and it’s a cause for concern.

The Caps have been winning because of Braden Holtby. Simple as that. Since the beginning of the month, the Caps have only had one game where they had a positive Corsi. That was the game against the Jets. Every other game, the Caps have been in the negative, the worst outings being on Dec. 3, in Montreal and on December 14 in Pittsburgh. Against the Penguins, the Caps had just a 37%* Corsi-for percentage and in Montreal a 37.1%*  via war-on-ice. Though possession stats don’t tell the whole story, the Caps can’t expect to keep winning with those numbers, especially if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs.

On another front, the Caps have only had two games so far this month where they have had the majority of scoring chances (also via war-on-ice). Holtby has been standing tall. Over his five games this month, he has a save percentage of .950 and has not allowed more than two goals.

The Caps are lucky to have an elite goalie like him. Teams can win the Cup without an elite goalie, but having one certainty helps. Look at the Habs last year with Price. They over-relied on him. Holtby will once again take us through the mess as we work through this slump. Thank you Holtby.

Now, all teams go through a slump. I believe this is the Caps’ slump. A key point in this is the Caps are the only team in the Eastern Conference yet to have a losing streak. This will be huge down the stretch as the Caps will be battling for home ice throughout the Eastern Conference and possibly even the whole playoffs. For now, lets try and get things going again. I really liked how the Caps ended November, now only if they can find that stride again, we could possibly start to run away with the Metropolitan Division.

(*Denotes all situations)