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What's wrong with the Washington Capitals?

Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
Feature
200   //    29 Oct 2017, 17:53 IST

Washington Capitals v Vancouver Canucks
Washington Capitals v Vancouver Canucks

The Washington Capitals have high expectations year in and year out. They won the Presidents' Trophy for the past couple of seasons, but failed to get past the second round of the playoffs in the Stanley Cup, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins both times.

Washington lost key players like Karl Alzner, Nate Schmidt, and Marcus Johansson in the offseason. What also hasn't helped the Capitals is that Andre Burakovsky is out for 6-8 weeks with a fractured left thumb. Burakovsky at times can either be a second or third line spark plug. He has scored a goal and recorded three assists so far this season.

Vrana (two goals and three assists) has taken his place in the lineup, but there are more problems with this team than just the absence of Burakovsky. The defence has been horrendous. They have given up 37 goals in 10 games.

John Carlson's plus/minus is -5. Brooks Oprik's plus/minus is -2. Dmitry Orlov's plus/minus is -3. If some of Washington's top defenseman have a negative plus/minus, doesn't that mean something? It does, because they are not in position when they are supposed to be.

Washington are also in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division. Their record is 4-5-1, with 9 points. They play in a tough division with the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and New Jersey Devils.

It is only 10 games into the season, but the Capitals need to find a way to not slip further in the standings. They don't want to be playing catch up going into January and February.

Alex Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 10 goals this season, but his plus/minus is -3. He doesn't play a whole lot of defence and maybe the team follows his lead and does the same.

Braden Holtby's record is 4-3 with a 2.86 GAA and a .913 save percentage. Philipp Grubauer's record is 0-2 with a .850 save percentage and a 4.68 GAA.

Glenn Kaplan
ANALYST
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