The Next 10 Games Loom Huge For The Capitals

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The Washington Capitals just got back from what many might call a “crappy” road trip through Nashville and Colorado. They were outscored 12-5 in those two games. Not good. But more important than the score was the effort. At times, the Capitals looked great, but other times, just terrible. 

Their opening period against Nashville was horrendous. They played a great two periods after that, but the early hole was too much, which was the same with Colorado. The Capitals allowed a goal in the first 20 seconds and last 20 seconds of the first period, which some call, daggers.

In their win at home versus the Edmonton Oilers, they didn’t play well, but goaltender Braden Holtby stole the game for them. Something is off.

What makes this even more frustrating is less than a week before that, the Capitals played an inspired game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins and won. If they played all of their games like that one, they will win most.

So where does this leave the Capitals? They are just about a .500 team (10-9-1), which isn’t bad, considering they are still only four points from first place in their division, but also only four points from being in last. It’s also important to note the Capitals are at the quarter mark of the season, so there’s absolutely no reason to freak out. It’s all about the last 25 games of the season, not the first 20. But that still doesn’t mean these next 10 games aren’t huge.

Nine out of the next ten games are at home, with only one back-to-back set. It’s a nice schedule, but it’s also a tough one. Every single opponent in the next 10 games is in a playoff spot except two (Chicago and New York) but each are only one point out. There are no easy matchups. These games will say a whole lot about the Capitals as a team. If they don’t use their poor play as of late as a wake up call and they fall flat in these next 10 games, then one would expect some big changes.

What kind of changes? Considering the Capitals have a good enough roster to be better than they are, it could mean a coaching change. Maybe General Manager Brian MacLellan makes a trade or two to shake things up. It’s probably not worth speculating too much, but it would be very hard to see everything staying the same if the Capitals don’t change their tune over these next stretch of games.

Or this could just be a fluke. The Capitals aren’t fully healthy yet and their young players are still learning. The Capitals could win seven of their next ten games and no one would even remember how their first 20 games went.

But one thing is for sure, these next ten games are crucial to the Capitals’ identity and will shape them one way or the other.

By Luke Adomanis

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15 Responses to The Next 10 Games Loom Huge For The Capitals

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  2. Peter says:

    The Caps embarrassed themselves on the road trip. They simply failed to show up to play.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It seems like!e the Caps have already checked out for the season. Must be looking forward to working on their golf game in early April since at this rate they won’t even stumble into the playoffs. Their play is almost the worst in the league. Expect a major overhaul next year. Wouldn’t be surprised if Ovi retires after this season since it is apparent he won’t be on a Stanley cup team and losing regularly is a drag. Need a new coach and they need to replace about half of the players.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Once again it seems like a leadership problem in the locker room. Perfect time to trade Ovechkin now that we have an obvious next captain in Oshie and we could get return value. The window for that move will be closing soon. I am sick of the coaching carousel. We have run the gamut of coaching philosophies with this core of players so that shouldn’t be the answer. Trotz is a good reasonable coach and leader and seems well liked.

    • lukeadomanis says:

      Have plenty of a great leaders in the locker room so that isn’t the issue.

      • jane says:

        Yes Luke, you are correct, have plenty of great leaders but also have autocratic style of coaching. In autocracy of overrated coach there is no place for other leaders.
        Trotz does not tolerate other leaders
        Anonymous fan is correct performance was very bad and some problem with leadership
        can be there.
        Autocratic style of coaching needs to be abolished so that leaders could lead and young players can develop their talent instead of only following instructions of autocrat.
        Overcoaching destroys talents.

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