The Washington Capitals Versus The Dangerous “Trap Games”


It was a brutal back-to-back scenario for the Capitals to start the week.  First, the Capitals squeaked out a 3-2 overtime victory against a 2-win Arizona Coyotes club on Monday night.  The next evening, the Capitals played a flat, lethargic game, and lost to the Buffalo Sabres 3-1.

The Capitals played in 2 trap games, and could have easily lost both.  It is not a good look for the Capitals to play in 2 close games that they should probably win.


After 2 periods in Buffalo on Tuesday night, the Capitals only recorded 14 shots on goal.  In addition to the low shot totals, the Sabres were without the services of star defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, and fellow defensemen Zach Bogosian, Nathan Beaulieu, and Josh Gorges.  The Sabres were heavily wounded on the blueline, and the Capitals still could not muster more than 25 shots in the game.

Part of the Capitals “shots on goal” problem is effort (or lack thereof), and part of it is poor execution.  Both teams were in desperate need of wins, but the Sabres displayed more effort throughout the game, despite their patchwork defensive rotation.

From coaches on down to players, every individual must stay motivated, and must find ways to play and work hard against any opponent.  Whether the Capitals are going up against the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins or against the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes, every individual in the locker room must be up and ready to play in the games.  There is no excuse for taking nights off.  There is no excuse for sloppy execution and lethargic play on the ice.  Every game should be treated the same way, no matter what level of opponent is on the ice.


The Capitals have many players and coaches with excellent character.  Collectively, the Capitals must adapt and change the way they handle their business.  Every game that is played, the goal is to win, and to take home 2 points.

The Capitals are going through some adversity right now with injuries, and they must change their mindset moving forward if they want to string wins together.  The forwards and defensemen need to improve their play, and they need to play a little bit harder since key players like Matt Niskanen and Andre Burakovsky are on the shelf.  Every player and coach in the Capitals locker room must find a way to tug on the collective team rope a little bit harder.

When a team is shorthanded, every individual must play a little bit harder.  This is especially true on special teams, where the Capitals have struggled in 2017-18.  The Capitals must find ways to manufacture goals on the powerplay, and they must find ways to keep goals out of their net on the penalty kill.  Their 17th ranked powerplay and 23rd ranked penalty kill must improve for them to get back into the Metropolitan Division playoff race.  If the Capitals can improve the special teams, and produce more shots on net, they should be able to get back into regular form and become more of a dangerous team.

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.
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3 Responses to The Washington Capitals Versus The Dangerous “Trap Games”

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    I remember a few years ago when the Caps were scheduled to play a VERY decimated Buffalo team. Buffalo had a lot of guys out and were basically fielding an AHL roster. They ended up clobbering the Caps. “Le Plus Change le plus meme-chose.” (The more things change, the more they remain the same.

  2. First I think that these back to backs are ridiculous for all the teams; especially for the team that has to travel! This team does not shoot enough and by this I mean that to many players pass up a good shot to pass to someone they think has a better shot and then neither players gets a shot. The Caps look old, tired and slow even with the rookies that they have on the team. Sad to say but maybe it is time to start trading someof the older players for either younger players or draft picks or both. In other words start the rebuilding process rather than shooting for the playoffs again.

  3. Pingback: Notes from Capitals’ Thursday Morning Practice: Nisky Business! | NoVa Caps

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