Some numbers that emphasize the Caps’ struggles over the last 25 games – just about 1/3 of an entire season. Since Nov. 24 Washington is 11-8-6 with 28 standings points. The power play is 12-for-87 (13.8%) while the penalty kill is 81-for-94 (86.2%) Whatever reason for that strong PK - luck, skill or some combination of the two – there’s no question that’s kept the Caps in a lot of these low-scoring games. They’ve allowed just 58 goals since that Nov. 24 win over Carolina (2.32 goals per game). How many have they scored? Uh…58 (2.32 goals per game).
Since a Dec. 2 loss at Dallas – 21 games in all - Washington has trailed after the first period 11 times and been outscored in the first period 19-9. It has held the lead after 20 minutes of play in just five games. The opposition has scored first 15 times.
In eight different games the Caps have allowed a goal in the first eight minutes of play. In fact, six times they’ve given up a goal in the first four minutes of play, including one 72 seconds into Sunday’s game vs. Ottawa and another 91 seconds into Tuesday’s loss at Philadelphia.
The players keep talking about getting off to better starts. But they haven’t gotten around to actually doing anything about it and you can see the frustration in their eyes when asked why. Eyes dart, jaws set, heads shake. They don’t know why it keeps happening any more than you or I do. It doesn’t help that Washington keeps leaving points on the board, either. After a 5-0 start in games that went past regulation the Caps are now 1-8 since Nov. 13. Four of those losses came during the overtime period, including three since Jan. 4.
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