...cough, Flyers, cough.
The Caps may not be firing on all cylinders yet, but there are some encouraging signs. No one here is saying that the Capitals have the capability to go 82-0, but it would be nice to think that this team is a shade better than 3-3-1. And I think they are.
As much crap Caps' fans have given to the goaltender situation, seven games in it's not the goaltending we are complaining about. Jose Theodore has settled down into a groove of some solid net minding. In both road games, more so in Phoenix than in Calgary, Theo was the most consistent player and kept his team with in reach of the tie and win. Easily the Coyotes could have made the score 3-0 at the end of the first and start of second periods last night. But Theo came up with the big save. Brent Johnson has been no slouch either.
Caps are still getting their opportunities. It's true that Alex Ovechkin is getting a little lost when the entire opposition line collapses on him, but that only means there are 4 other open players. Phoenix took it to a whole new level, I thought if Jose had the speed he could have had a scoring chance since he was so wide open. Ovie is going to start finding those passing lanes, and his linemates will start getting into those open lanes and burying the puck.
The Caps will find a way to stop playing to not lose and start playing to win. If that makes sense. Several players are too concerned about their positioning than being aggressive and too worried about making a mistake than trusting their skill. This team was so much better when they realized they have nothing to lose, and their play reflected that. Now that they think they have something to lose, they are holding their sticks too tight. This team really needs to forget the expectations that have been put upon them and play as if they are underdogs.
All in all, the Caps are a talented good team. Once they get over what ever funk they might be in, they are going to start winning some exciting games. But just like anything else, they have to stink at a few to make it humbling. The Caps are just getting that out of the way early. When the team starts building confidence, things will turn around.
But if it makes you feel better, Panic Buttons available here.