Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
With 12 games in the books, we take a look at a few of the trends developing for the Capitals, and highlight a few notes from last night’s game against the Sharks.
Shark Infested – The Capitals continue to struggle with the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are 25-9-2-1 all-time against the Capitals. The Sharks have beat the Capitals 5-0 and 3-0 in their last two visits to Verizon Center. Having said that, last night’s game was fairly even, with the Sharks notching a pair of deflected goals and an empty net goal.
Nothing Proven – The Capitals have yet to beat a team with a winning record, and have lost all four games against top-tier teams (Penguins, Rangers, Oilers and Sharks). The next ten days (Blackhawks, Penguins and Red Wings) will provide a good measuring stick for the Capitals current status.
Power-less – The Capitals power play is still struggling. One could go back to last season and chart a consistent struggling and even a decline in the power play effectiveness. The Capitals are now 24th in the league in power play conversions, at 13.2 percent. The Capitals penalty kill is a bit better, 15th in the league at 81.8 percent, for a cumulative special teams index of 95.0.
Evgeny Means Necessary – Evgeny Kuznetsov continues to struggle, having notched just a single goal to this point in the season. At times, Kuznetsov’s level of play seems uninspired and lacking focus, and a far cry from his level of play during the middle of last season.
Capital Defense – One solid, consistent component of this year’s Caps team has been the defense. The Capitals have allowed the third fewest goals in the league (26) through the first 12 games. The Capitals have yielded the 4th fewest shots against, with an average of 26.6 per game.
By Jon Sorensen