Monday, November 25, 2013

Why Ted should study the Nats Lerners

The Caps played some ugly games this week including a 4-1 debacle against Pittsburgh, a 1 goal loss against Montreal and a 1-point game against Toronto. The only Cap that scored during this stretch...Alex Ovechkin.  At least, the Caps put 50 shots on goal against Toronto.  That's encouraging as the Caps attempted only 27 shots against Montreal and 18 against Pittsburgh. But, it highlights a key point about the Caps. No matter how hard Caps ownership and management may want it to be true, Ovie can't do everything.

During the Ovechkin era in Washington there have been four coaches  - Glen Hanlon, Bruce Boudreau, Dale Hunter and Adam Oates. Not one of those coaches has been a head coach of a Cup finals or a Cup winning team. The Caps organization keeps bringing in inexperienced coaches. Adam Oates is the latest.
Although I hope Oates can overcome that inexperience, I'm not convinced yet.  He has done a good job of connecting with and coaching the resurgent Alex Ovechkin, but that coaching hasn't extended to team play. Oates is not motivating this team to show up during the first period.  He's not inspiring them to grab two points against teams they should beat.

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Let's go Caps!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Caps best game of the season v St. Louis

Caps played their best game of the season against one of the top 5 teams in the West, the St. Louis Blues.  It was a tired Blues team, since they got in late and played yesterday.  Regardless, Coach Adam Oates orchestrated a great game plan for the match. The Caps kept the puck in the middle with tape to tape passing and made offensive noise early with Alex Ovechkin scoring at 7:27 and 12:34 in the first period. Mikhail Grabovski made it 3-0 before the end of the first.
The Cap usually stink in first periods this season and often look like they're sleep walking. Not tonight. They chased Jaroslav Halak from the net, after the deadly second line, oops I meant third line, scored that 3rd goal. 

Nicklas Backstrom contributed three assists and made some eyes in the back of his head plays. He's looking more and more like the pre-concussion Nickie, which is critical for the Caps. 
Marcus Johansson is making me eat my words about him. But, I like to be proven wrong if it means the Capitals get better. I'm still not sold on his ability to be an effective player in the playoffs and, for Caps fans, that is all that matters. He seemed to build his confidence playing on the 2nd line, while Ovechkin was out, and then slid back into the top line in Detroit and looked comfortable tonight and contributed with an assist and smart plays.

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Let's go Caps!

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