It Is Important for the Washington Capitals to Start the Second-Half strong

The Washington Capitals have not played a game since last Wednesday night on the road and they lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3. Washington is currently on a seven-game losing streak. It will be very important for them to end that skid on Friday night at home against the Calgary Flames.

It will be a start of a six-game home stand for the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin will not be available on Friday night because he missed the NHL All-Star Game in San Jose this past weekend due to rest and he has to serve a one-game suspension because of it. Ovechkin has scored 37 goals and recorded 20 assists, in 50 games so far this season. His plus/minus is 9.

This team doesn’t need to continue limping. They have been limping long enough. Of course teams have had cold stretches throughout the regular season, but the Capitals are the defending Stanley Cup Champions and I don’t remember them having bad spells when Barry Trotz was coaching the team the last four seasons before he left due to internal reasons.

Todd Reidren isn’t doing a bad job in his first year as Washington Capitals Head Coach. He has them in second place in the Metropolitan Division with a 27-17-6 record with 60 points. Washington has scored 171 goals so far this season and they have given up 162 goals.

The Capitals are three points behind the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Barry Trotz is in his first season as New York’s head coach and he is doing wonders with that roster. Trotz doesn’t have a lot to work with and he is making the most out of it.

Washington is just one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The truth of the matter is if you are the Washington Capitals, it is very vital for this team to get off to a strong start to the second-half. If they continue to slide, there will be questions as to whether or not this team is suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover.

This team has a lot of players that was on last year’s team. Washington needs to make a trade or two anyways. This team needs another depth scorer.

The first two lines are very good, but the third and fourth lines have been average to below average for this team. Andre Burakovsky has been underachieving this season and it is possible the Washington Capitals could very well trade him at the trade deadline on Monday, February 25.

In 44 games so far this season, he has scored six goals and recorded six assists. His plus/minus is -5.

Depth play will be a big role for this team heading into the second-half of the season. Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jakub Vrana, and T.J. Oshie will show up night in and night out.

It is up to the other players to see how far they will go. The defense is also inconsistent and they miss Christian Djoos on the back end. He needed surgery on his left thigh several weeks ago. Djoos has played in 28 games so far this season and he has recorded four assists. His plus/minus is 6.

This is going to be an interesting second-half for the Washington Capitals. They should be back in the postseason for the fifth consecutive season but we will see.

 

– Glenn Kaplan, WTF Sports Intern

 

 

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