Visiting the OC: Capitals-Ducks Preview

Capitals @ Ducks Preview Graphic

After a 4-2 loss in Tinseltown an evening ago, the Capitals have now lost 3 in a row, and are clinging on to their Metropolitan Division lead by 1 point.  The Capitals will look to turn things around on their road trip as they face the Anaheim Ducks tonight in their second and final meeting of the season.  Puck drop is at 9:30 PM ET on CSN and NHL Network.

ANAHEIM DUCKS

In the land where Walt Disney built his first theme park, the Anaheim Ducks have had a lot of success in recent years.

In the last 10 games, the Ducks have been riding California Screamin’ with their recent performances.  They have won 5 out of their last 10 games, but they are coming off a 4-3 loss in St. Louis on Friday night.  It has truly been a loopy ride full of twists and turns for them in recent games.

The hottest Ducks player right now is Ryan Getzlaf.  Getzlaf, 31, has recorded 12 goals and 53 points in 61 games this year.  He has recorded 7 points in his last 5 contests.  He recently got into a tussle on Thursday night in Chicago as he faced Blackhawks forward Richard Panik.

Yes, he even threw some punches at Panik while Panik’s equipment was over his head.  Not very nice.

On special teams, the Ducks are average on the powerplay.  They rank 16th with the man advantage and are 19.1% effective.  The Ducks are ranked 3rd on the penalty kill as they are 85% effective.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

To lighten the gloomy mood surrounding the Capitals right now, you might spot some Orange County song references below.

Let’s face it.  With the way the Capitals have started their California road trip, I think I’ll have myself a Beer.

They looked shook in the Shark Tank on Thursday night, and were undisciplined at Staples Center an evening ago.

Gone Away are the days before the bye-week where the Capitals were just steamrolling through their competition.  The Capitals have lost 3 in a row, and it feels like the world is going to end.  They are playing with little Self Esteem, which is something I do not even think Orange County’s own “The Offspring” would approve of.  Since the bye week, the Capitals goal scoring has taken a dip.

To make things worse, it appears the Capitals will be without the services of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk for a couple of games.  Shattenkirk has been suspended 2 games for his charging penalty on Kevin Gravel.

The Capitals appear to be banged up, especially on the blueline.  Karl Alzner, Brooks Orpik, and John Carlson could all be playing with injuries late in this regular season.  With Shattenkirk’s suspension, Nate Schmidt should draw back into the lineup.  It is likely that Taylor Chorney will also slot back into the lineup soon to get back into a rhythm before the playoffs.

The Capitals special teams are respectable, but have not been good the past couple of games.  The Capitals are ranked 8th on the powerplay, as they are 21.3% effective.  The Capitals penalty kill has slipped a little, but it is still ranked 5th in the league and it is 84% effective.

METROPOLITAN DIVISION STANDINGS

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 4.19.24 PM

KEYS TO VICTORY FOR THE CAPITALS

 -Get a couple of quick goals:  If the Capitals can pounce on the Ducks early, they will re-gain some confidence.  Scoring the first goal of the game can set the tone early, and can put doubt into the opponents’ heads.

-Stay disciplined: The Capitals took 6 penalties last night in LA, which is way too many.  This has been a recurring problem for the Capitals, and it is something that Capitals fans should be concerned about.

-Spread your love and Fly: Every team faces slumps and down times, but it is important to know that the season is not over yet.  The Capitals must continue to keep playing the rest of the way.  The Capitals are still playing to be the top team in the NHL.  They are playing for good playoff seeding and home ice advantage.  With the Pittsburgh Penguins right on their tail in the standings, the Capitals need to buckle down and get back to their winning ways pre-bye week.

A LOOK BACK IN TIME

On February 11, the Capitals defeated the Ducks 6-4 at Verizon Center.  This was right before the Capitals went on their dreaded bye week.

SHAVINGS

GAME LINKS

Game Notes at Anaheim, 3/12/17 (Capitals PR)

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
This entry was posted in Games, News, Penalty Kill, Power Play, Teams and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s