Power Play Short-CircuitedPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
It’s been troublesome enough for the Capitals that their power play has produced just six goals in its last 55 opportunities in a span of the team’s last 18 games. It’s probably not coincidental that the Caps have not managed consecutive wins during that span, going 6-9-3. Washington’s power play hasn’t produced, but worse, it has created opportunities for the opposition virtually all season long, but especially in the last 18 games. While the Caps have scored six power play goals in their last 18 games, they’ve surrendered four shorthanded strikes in the same span. Three of those shorthanded goals against have come on the road. Washington has played 11 of its last 18 games on the road, scoring just three power play goals in three dozen extra-man opportunities during that stretch for a success rate of just 8.3%. The Caps’ power play has surrendered as many goals as it has scored in the team’s last 11 road games. In Friday night’s 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center, the lone blemish on Caps goaltender Michal Neuvirth’s strong performance was a third-period shorthanded goal from the Habs’ Rene Bourque. “I felt good the whole game,” noted Neuvirth after the game. “We gave up a scoring chance on our power play. We’ve got to be better on that.” Washington has now allowed eight shorthanded goals on the season, tied for the second most in the NHL. The Caps allowed just five shorthanded strikes all of last season.
Only a few hours to go now before the NHL's annual trade deadline at 3 p.m. on Monday. Only 23 points separate the top 23 teams in the NHL, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 23 teams have at least some realistic hope of nailing down one of the 16 available berths in the 2012 Stanley Cup