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Capitals stay cold in desert heat

Posted By Dennis Patchett On Feb 15 2011 @ 12:02 am In Washington Capitals | No Comments

The Washington Capitals lost 3-2 tonight to the Phoenix Coyotes, losers of 3 straight,  The Capitals are in the midst of a 5 game road trip, including the first 3 games against Western Conference foes.  The Caps are now 3-7-1 against teams from the Western Conference.  The Caps faced the hottest team in the NHL, the Phoenix Coyotes, who are now winners of 5 straight games, and in 1st place in the Pacific Division.  Ilya Bryzgalov is on fire; 5-0-0 in his last 5 starts and handled 29 of 31 shots that he faced.

The Caps had their legs going tonight, they were physical, disciplined and they matched the awesome speed of the Coyotes.  On the other hand, the Coyotes played a wonderful defensive style.  Frustrating the Cap’s players with their defensive zone play.  Phoenix blocked a season high 20 shots. 

Alex Ovechkin has only scored 2 goals in the last 8 games and the team has lost 6 of those 8 games.  Ovi is on pace for 30 goals this season, 24 off last year’s goal total (54).  His 21 goals is the fewest in his career, through 55 games.  Alexander Semin and Niklas Backstrom had tough nights, as well.  Semin was non-existent in the contest.  He did pick up a second assist, but it wasn’t due to him being a threat on goal.  Backstrom had an assist tonight too, but his late game double minor for high sticking (with 2:26 left in the game), cancelled any chance for the Caps to rally.

The Caps power play lacks the organization and quickness needed to score with a man advantage.  Ovi is also doing too much that doesn’t and won’t produce goals.  It’s nice to see Ovi on the point during a power play, but the fact he is lugging the puck into the offensive zone is a waste of his abilities and frankly it’s weighing him down.  What happened to Ovi being one of three forwards (with an offensive defense-man on the point), touching the puck once, only to deposit it into the back of the cage with a blistering one timer from a sharp angle?  Come on Boudreau, keep it simple for him on the power play.  Let Ovi use his hockey sense to find space, seams, scoring opportunities!  Freeing Ovi up on the Power Play is the only way your Defensive System has a chance of working, coach… Caps lost another close game that wasn’t really that close!  The Caps had 31 shots, but went 0-5 with a man advantage.  That’s the story line!

Free Ovi on the Power Play!

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