Alex Wass/Associated Press
Special teams were one of the biggest strengths of the Capitals last season, particularly their lethal power play. However, the Capitals have failed to score on the power play this season, and for a team as loaded offensively as the Caps, it’s a problem.
While the Caps have only played two games, they have gone 0/8 in power play opportunities with 9 shots on goal in 15:04 of man-advantage time. In fact, the Capitals have gone seven straight regular season games without a power play goal (0-for-20), dating back to last season.
With names such as Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, and John Carlson on their power play units, the Caps should have no trouble scoring. While they shouldn’t be expected to score EVERY time, the fact that they haven’t scored at all is troubling.
So what could be behind the Caps struggling man-advantage? The Capitals finished fifth in the NHL last season in power play success, and the majority of the units are back, save for the loss of Jason Chimera.
One issue could be the predictability of the power play. The Caps have used the same power play setup the last few seasons, and most of the time it seems the team is just trying to get the puck to their biggest weapon: Ovechkin’s legal one-timer. After watching tape of the setup, most teams have at least an idea of what the Caps are trying to do.
So what could/should the Caps coaching staff do to help the power play? Shuffling the personnel could help, but it has only been two games, and it could just take time for the units to get going. Having more players not named Ovechkin shoot more is a key way to create more scoring chances. Nicklas Backstrom, in particular, possesses a very hard, accurate shot that would be extremely beneficial to the success of the power play.
What do you think Caps fans? Should the team be concerned about the lack of production from the power play, or is it still too early?
By Michael Fleetwood