Spencer Carbery: “We’re Not Clicking Like A Well-Oiled Machine Offensively, Power Play, Finishing Chances, Two-On-One’s, Odd-Man Rushes, It’s Not Clicking”

Screen cap: X/@Capitals

The Washington Capitals played their worst game of the season, and it is only the third game of the year. Everything went sideways in their 6-1 bloodbath against the Ottawa Senators. Washington (1-2-0) failed to score the first goal for the third time this year and have yet to have a lead.

A Canadian Clunker: Senators Crush Capitals 6-1

“We’re not clicking like a well-oiled machine offensively, power play, finishing chances, two-on-one’s, odd-man rushes, it’s not clicking. They’re not ending up in the back of the net,” Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery said after Wednesday’s loss.

The offense not being in sync has led to a bigger issue for the Caps: A struggling defensive structure, or lack thereof. Darcy Kuemper was once again left out to dry numerous times, and the Washington’s blueliners held onto pucks for too long and did not have any puck support from the wingers, when the Ottawa forecheck was on display. 

Josh Norris’s second tally of the game, which made it 3-1 Ottawa, was due to the relentless Senators forecheck, which caused Nick Jensen to turn the puck over behind the net and no one was able to pick up Norris in front. The Capitals forwards started to leave the offensive zone, rather than being down low to give Jensen an easy outlet pass.

The Senators ended the game with 10 takeaways compared to Washington’s five.

Another incident of being careless defensively was on Claude Giroux’s goal. The Capitals were puck watching and letting the Senators skate circles around them, and it eventually extended Ottawa’s lead to 5-1. Connor McMichael does not recognize Giroux cutting to the goal. Everyone on the ice seemed tired.

“We’re turning over some pucks maybe in a different year or in a different situation wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But right now, every time we turn over the puck, it’s gonna be a Grade-A [chance], and we have to learn from that,” Carbery said. “So the problem with that is now defensively you have to tighten, tighten, tighten, tighten, tighten if you want to survive games. And that’s what we’re not doing. You have to really play a near perfect game in terms of your puck management, and you’re defending, or else you’re gonna have what you had tonight.”

Meanwhile, Washington’s star players have not found their groove. Alex Ovechkin was held shotless in back-to-back games for the first time in his 19-year NHL career. The Capitals’ captain had an assist on John Carlson’s goal, which was the lone tally of the game. Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Dylan Strome have yet to get on the scoresheet. 

“We’re really struggling right now from a standpoint of where we’ve got a lot of guys that are looking to find their game early in the season and aren’t there yet. Usually it’s a few, but we have more than you would call normal. So trying to find our game and what’s compounding the issue is now when we make a mistake, it’s in the back of the net,” Carbery said. “We have to play tighter until we find our groove offensively and can make a play like you saw on the other side of the ice tonight, until we get to that spot, we have to tighten up.”

It is still very early into the year, but the Capitals don’t want to avoid playing catchup once again. Players talked about wanting to get out to a better start to the season. But so far, it hasn’t taken shape and the Caps have yet to put together a full 60 minutes. 

Washington will look to fix its defensive mishaps when it takes on the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Centre Bell. 

By Jacob Cheris

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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21 Responses to Spencer Carbery: “We’re Not Clicking Like A Well-Oiled Machine Offensively, Power Play, Finishing Chances, Two-On-One’s, Odd-Man Rushes, It’s Not Clicking”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder why we don’t have a relentless forecheck like the Sens and Pens showed us. We pretty much allow the other team to skate it to their blue line unchallenged.

    • Jacob Cheris says:

      Cause the Caps don’t have the speed to backcheck and as I’ve harped on a lot, they aren’t hard on pucks. That’s my best guess but I’m not sure. Needs to be way more stick on puck.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bc we suck
      Esp Nick Jensen
      Loses the puck and puck battles constantly

  2. Anonymous says:

    Rough shape. Doesn’t help the team stay loose

  3. Dave says:

    Well, they’re clicking (and bursting) like a well-oiled Pinto. So at least there’s that.

    In the first video you posted, it’s just stunning how all three forwards appear to blow the zone immediately after the faceoff. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that (except in beer league). It makes me wonder what they were thinking: could this possibly have been the designed play (maybe expecting a flip pass into the neutral zone from the D to counter the forecheck)? If not, how could all three forwards have possibly been that confused about their assignments?

    I guess the good news is that, unlike some other issues, this should be easily correctable (“stop being stupid” as opposed to “you 40-year-olds: get faster”)

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t diss Pintos, buddy! Good little car, very affordable, when they first came out, and very fuel efficient. It’s not like they blew up, when crammed from behind.

      Uh, never mind

    • Jacob Cheris says:

      Well you want to get up ice quickly. I think they were expecting Fehervary or Jensen to just rim it around the boards. However, they shouldn’t be doing that against, like I said, the high-octane forecheck. You need puck support against those kind of teams. Quick and short passes.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yep, not in shape. Not physical. Look at Fehervary, completely lost position and fumbled the puck to Jensen, who tried to hard, instead of making a simple play. On the 5th goal, Protas has to get the puck out, not try to be cute. They shoud learn to play a simple a boring game before trying to be Makar. Indon’t think they have enough speed to forcheck, but they can trap in the neutral zone. Take a page from the Islanders.

  5. Peter Wolfe says:

    On the power play they do a great job of passing the puck around the perimeter.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just remember, folks. Joe Gibbs started out 0-5

    I’m sure no one cared about that little statistic when the Redsk….er, Commanders,…er, Washington Football Team were winning three Super Bowls.

    Hey, gotta find a positive somewhere.

  7. Anonymous says:

    3 games….3 games out of 82 and most of you are already crying. new coaching staff..aging core…some young players finding their NHL game…sheesh…..give them some time. if this is still the norm after 20 games then maybe the sky can be falling

  8. Anonymous says:

    None of this is on Spencer….he was blind folded and taken into the dumpster fire.

    However GMBM is standing outside with gas can in hand telling Teddy and his son a joke. Ted’s son laughs the loudest

  9. novafyre says:

    I often hear Olympic athletes talk about arranging their training so that they are peaking at the right time. Too little and they are not in shape, too much and they are tired out. Maybe we’re seeing a bit of both.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does Ovechkin train? With all the best organic food and trainers why not lose weight and drop 20 pounds.

      • novafyre says:

        He trained hard on the beach at his two Florida condos a few years back, but I think since COVID he has really spent his summers more on vacation. Again, just based on what little news we get on his activities.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mission One
    Looking over the comment section of Capitals blogs this a.m. I see my summer goal of inspiring a toxic fan base has shown it’s fruits. Spew your anger and hate filled toxins everywhere my little ones!!!! Mission complete Mwhaaaaaaaa Mwhaaaaaaaaaaa Mwhaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaa haaaa

    Mission Two
    Watch Operation Toxic Fan Base grow!!!!
    Now GMBM will be forced to do something or face the wrath of the 6th player on the ice!!!! I say next we take Slap Shot hostage and if nothing is done in a day or so sacrifice Slap Shot to the hockey God’s on the roof of Capitals One arena during the Lunar eclipse. It’s really just the implication that is needed…

    Mission Three
    As fun as creating the mess above was, once GMBM makes some trades, we have to show good faith and try to clean up the mess we made in creating a toxic fan base. A wise man once said “You never go full retard” ….but what people do not realize is ; the full quote that was edited out is ” You never go full retard unless GMBM builds a Frankenstein team, then you go full retard”.

    I would like to Thank each of you for helping create this toxic fan base that Ted, Ted’s son and GMBM need to experience. Just remember we have to clean this place up afterwards, or we risk becoming like Toronto or Edmonton fan bases.

    Now go….spread the Capitals hate far and wide until GMBM has no other choice but to take major trade actions


    • andrew777dc says:

      Ehm, practicing your Halloween speech? 🤔
      ‘Tis the season to be toxic, tralalalala-lalalala! 🎃👻

  11. Anonymous says:

    Those that bought into the rhetoric by Ted and GM BM this summer ae those that are mad and disappointed. All one had to do was watch what did not happen this summer to realize the “retool” was being talked about by a Tool and administrated by another Tool (the GM). In June rather than trying to trade a player, Mantha, who has zero value around the league they should have bought out his contract and the same with Backy who has seen his best years and declining years move past him and he is now in the dead weight years. Buying out those 2 and possibly handing Kuzys agent the right to go make a trade for his player would have helped this team greatly in that not only would they have reduced the salary cap but also gotten rid of 2 useless players and a cancer.

    Problem is this is an old, slow team with a few young players tossed in and they are having problems playing together. Not enough time spent skating in games in pre season together. Also they are now facing younger faster teams and getting beaten. Or a team like the Pens who have a motivated leader to win games not just get a scoring title! Not to beat a dead and decayed horse but Ted overpays players and the cap suffers because of it however for a few bucks The Tool of an owner could have had a great coach (Trotz) and possible won back to back Cups instead his cheap arse went with The Joker (Reardon, who looked like a deer in the headlights) and then a HC who likes veteran teams but was not the right one for this team however was the right one for what The Tool wanted to pay. As the saying goes “You get what you pay for”.

    Guess the marketing plan will become either “Come watch Ovie break a record” or Come watch (insert star players name from other team) play”.

    I feel sorry for Carbery as he was sold a false bag of goods. This team, as The Tool, claims is not this year or for the near future a playoff team and definitely not a Cup contender. So sit back and watch lots of bad hockey the next several years. And hope that Carbery is not fired but truly given not just the next 2 years until a lot of the old is gone but several more after that to use the younger draft picks that this team should get. That is unless the Tool of a GM in all his glory decides to trade picks for older players!!

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