|The Caps look for answers. Photo Credit: ESPN|
So, the Caps lost for the third time in a row, this time to the Montreal Canadiens. It wasn't a performance to shout about, either. As a consequence, the Caps are now in the basement of the standings, fairly worrying considering the playoffs are only four months away. Here's a terrifying stat - in the last shortened season, no team with a three game losing streak failed to even MAKE the playoffs. More below:
Matty Perrault went into the press this week complaining about his lack of ice time and grumping that if he isn't part of the Caps' plans then he should be traded. After, being given his chance, 33 seconds into the game he takes an unnecessary tripping penalty. And this was just the start of an all round poor performance.
Although the Caps were able to hold the Habs in the first period, they were powerless in the second period. Whilst Ovechkin, Brouwer and Hendricks were all called for minor penalties within the first five minutes of the period, Plekanec and Markov were able to slot home a powerplay goal each to put the Canadiens 2-0 up. Not even four minutes later, Gionta put away a third goal. The Caps continued to be completely unremarkable, and then conceded goal number four by the way of Josh Georges, putting them at a four goal deficit.
The pairing of John Carlson and Karl Alzner was noticeably poor throughout the game, and Oates really needs to shake up the lines some more, in an attempt to restore some life into this Caps team that is sinking without a trace. The penalty kill was poor (2/4), the powerplay was poor (0/3) and the goaltending was poor - Neuvirth, who could have proved himself as the starting goaltender for the season conceded four goals on just 22 shots. Granted, Carey Price put in a good performance for his team, stopping 30 of 31 shots, after Joey Crabb scored a goal that merely consolation with two minutes remaining. The game ended 4-1. The Caps have no points. Oates has no wins. Ovechkin, supposedly one of the best players in the world, has not yet scored a goal. Something needs to be done, FAST.