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Time, age may be catching up with capital

Make no mistake, 2022 hasn’t started washington capital Would have liked it better, but the team’s recent performance could be a symptom of the bigger problems facing the established club.

After a bumpy December, head coach Pieter Laviolette’s side started the new year in extremely low form 4-3 overtime loss Hosts New Jersey on January 2.

Jersey’s young Gunners Jack Hughes and Niko Sheer led the way for the Devils, scoring two points each. Hischier took advantage of a miss near the hash mark on the Caps defensive end directly in front of goaltender Ilya Samsonov, passing the ball from Hughes and firing on Samsonov’s wrist to win the game for the Devils.

After the game, Laviolette made it clear He felt his team had worked hard enough to recover from a deficit of 2-0 and 3-1, but mistakes and a step behind cost the team most of the afternoon and the effort was ultimately in vain.

“[Overtime] Probably in line with the remaining 60 minutes – we did it, and we turned it over a lot in overtime,” he said. “We had it, we gave it back; we worked it, got it back, gave it back. came back. Won the confrontation and gave it back. That was the story of the night, we were chasing the game. “

Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette (Amy Owen /hockey writer)

Nick Dodd, he scored his fifth goal of the season at 13:23 of the third quarter, cutting the blocks to within one point and tipping the rink in Washington’s favor, Agree with La Violet The same is true in his assessment.

“It’s so hard [come back] With such a young team, we don’t have to put ourselves in that situation,” he said.

Making yourself sad was indeed the theme of the afternoon.

On New Jersey’s opening marker, the Caps lost an offensive zone scrimmage — one of their challenges all season — and the Devils quickly slid the puck 180 feet in the other direction. A soft shot from Hughes from the left flank, usually flanked by Samsonov with ease, bounced off him freely, and winger Yegor Shalangovich put New Jersey on the backboard with ease.

Just over a minute later, Caps chased the ball at his own end and after some sustained lateral pressure Damon Severson completed a snap from a poor angle, hitting the far post behind Samsonov and rattling into the net. .

“We should immediately jump on them in our building, how many experienced teams we have,” Dodd admitted.

related: 2021-22 Midpoint Top 5 Stanley Cup Contenders

All in all, it’s a troubling effort that Washington wants to shed after a long run of layoffs (a small camp, La Violet calls it), following the cancellation of a COVID-related game in Montreal on Tuesday night.

“If you give up more than 20 chances, you’re not going to win the game,” Laviolette said. “It wasn’t a clean game tonight, we’re chasing.”

Given how slow and unprepared the Hats were against New Jersey on Sunday, the week saw some veteran players — including Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov And Carl Hagelin — got maintenance day and the others are doing fine-tuning and system play, you really expect the group to come up with some pops when they play on ice in St. Louis on Friday night.

It started with the right foot – Daniel Sprang put the Caps ahead with his third goal of the last five games two minutes into the game.Sprang’s strong play, along with The development of Aliaksei Protas this season, has been one of the bright spots recently.

After that, however, the game was dominated by St. Louis, with the Blues scoring five unanswered goals in a 5-1 loss.

Washington Capital Ilya Samsonov - Age, age may be catching up with the capital
Washington Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonoff (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

An easy direction to the end of the night is Samsonov. The 24-year-old goalkeeper clearly had a rough night between the pipes, giving up four goals from 16 shots before being pulled down by Zach Fucale. Focusing on Samsonov, however, ignores some other apparently recurring issues that are starting to trend.

Washington’s strong play continued to struggle (29th in the league with a conversion rate hovering around 15 percent), scoring a pointless of three chances on the night.

A number of losing pucks eventually created chances for the Blues – arguably the most notable being Pavel Buchnevic’s 11th goal of the season, which gave St. Louis the lead midway through the game. In that game, Martin Fehvari took control of the puck not once but twice before being overtaken by Buchnevic in his own game. After forcing a turnover, the slick winger slid into unguarded position quickly and threw the ball home from a return pass from Marco Scandella.

Two goals late in the second quarter ended Samsonov’s night, and so did the Capitals anyway. And, like the loss to New Jersey, it felt like Washington was chasing the game again.

After losing four of 10 games in December, the calendar year started with two losses, which begs the question of whether we’re starting to witness a slow deterioration from a veteran-dominated team that is Try to keep up with younger, hungrier teams, and stronger competition.

Next

The Capitals are back with a Saturday night game against Minnesota Wild. The Wilds enter the game with a 20-10-2 record and hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference with a 10-3-1 record in 2021-22.

Pat Hirtle is a communications management professional with the Municipality of Hockey Hotbed, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Academic background is history, five years experience as a sports talk show host threesome, a journalist and award-winning columnist, Pat has worked in community newspapers for over a decade, bringing with him a strong background in writing, research and analysis and his passion for hockey.


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