The Washington DC metro area is notorious for its Type A overachievers, and much like helicopter parents paying extreme attention to their offspring — Washington Caps fans nervously wring their angst-ridden hands over every hiccup in the Capitals’ game.
With that in mind, we understand the uproar when two games into the season the Capitals, who are consistently among the league leaders on the power play, are zero for eight chances.
— CSN Capitals (@CSNCapitals) October 16, 2016
Trotz tried to allay fan fears during his post-game interview after Saturday’s game against the Islanders. “I’m not worried about them. The power play will come around and we will be real dangerous”. But that was not enough for hypersensitive Caps fans who have become accustomed to the top of league powerplay conversion percentages as Zach Hart reported in his recent NoVa Caps article, Washington Capitals Powerplay: Past and Future
When asked about the struggles on the PP, Ovechkin said he thought they were playing more ‘casual’ then they did kat station #CapitalsTalk
— JJ Regan (@JJReganCSN) October 16, 2016
But, in a single, magical instant last night, Caps fans learned, or re-learned, that the captain, Alexander Ovechkin, delivers the mail. This time his delivery came at 15:44 into the first period off a pass from Dmitry Orlov. Ovechkin banged a slap shot over Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov’s right shoulder from his office .
— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 18, 2016
That goal was a series of firsts; first of the night for the Capitals, first of the season for Ovechkin and for the top line, and it was crucial. “The first goal was, I think, really important for us mentally,” Ovechkin said. “You can see that when we have power-play opportunities, we have so many chances to score. But we got two, and we’ll take it.”
Ovechkin’s linemate, T.J. Oshie attributes the game’s momentum change to blue liner Dmitry Orlov’s big hit that flipped Avalanche forward Matt Duchene. “It all started with Orly’s hit and we started rolling after that,” said Oshie.
After that hit, things just started coming together. Ovechkin scored and Oshie followed in the second period with his first goal of the season and the Capitals second power play goal of the night. When asked about the significance of these power play goals,Marcus Johansson was emphatic, “It’s huge for us. We have a good power play I think we just found a way to make it work and we executed when we needed to it’s good to get back and on the right track”.
Even when Ovechkin doesn’t get a point, he probably should. Look at all that space Oshie gets because of how scared Comeau is to leave Ovi. pic.twitter.com/t4ayMi3FCP
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) October 19, 2016
Those two power play goals combined with the re-emergence of our top line were all that most fans needed to abate their inner angst. “It was only two games into the season,” said Capitals newcomer Brett Connolly. “I don’t think they [the Capitals team] were panicking too much. They knew they were going to break free. I know that usually when they are scoring the confidence is there”.
While the brief two game power play scoring drought may have felt disheartening, Trotz had a different perspective, “The power play wasn’t bad, but we talked about needing a little bit more execution and a little bit more finish,” he said. “They were sharper, and then they got rewarded. I thought they could’ve scored almost every power play they got tonight.” Capitals fans hope that next game, they do.
By Stephanie Judge