Capitals 0, Rangers 7
I am not sure how to write this post with out going into a rant about the Capitals' poor play of late. But the 7 to nothing shelling by the New York Rangers, makes it hard to do anything but. Poor play, followed by an unwillingness to work hard leads to a serious problem for the Washington Capitals.
The Caps drop their sixth straight game, a team worse under the direction of Bruce Boudreau. They have been outscored 13 to 2 in the last three games, shut out twice. Zero goals from Alex Semin in seven games, only three assists for Nick Backstrom in the past six games and only two goals for Alex Ovechkin in his last 14 games. As their woes continue, the team woes continue as well.
It was a tough night for the Caps' defensemen. They seem to have lost all confidence in the last few games. Scott Hannan has had trouble tonight picking up players in front and often looking more like a rookie than a veteran at times. Injuries have hampered the back line with Mike Green and Jeff Schultz out, more than originally thought.
It is more important than ever for the Capitals to reset and put forth a better hard working effort for the next game. If the Caps fail to learn from this blow out, it will be a long season. Sure there is a flu bug going around the team and injuries are a good crutch to lean on, but the Capitals have to look past the excuses and work to get themselves out of this funk.
There were positives to come out of this game. Alex Ovechkin frustrations came to a boiling point when he dropped them with Brandon Dubinsky. In his first real fight of his career, Ovechkin sent a message to his bench, but it did little to energize the ailing team. The fight is below:
Matt Hendricks continues to lead with his actions on the ice. He fought twice and again worked his tail off to get chances for his team.
The Caps did have some offensive punch in this game, but hit the post a least 6 times in this game. But the push would not result in any significant reward for the Caps' effort. The third and fourth line got to see some extended action towards the end of the game including a few chances to score. Too little, too late, but it could have been something the Caps could build on for the next game.
Bruce Boudreau's hands were tied with a sick Michal Neuvirth on the bench. Semyon Varlamov would have to face the music all game long and it lead to his worst regular season game in the NHL. He let in 6 goals against Ottawa in February '10 (L 5-6).
Caps will come back home to face the Anaheim Ducks at the phone booth.