Last night, Coach Bruce Boudreau called out most of the Capitals' regular point producers, naming Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble as those not living up to their offensive responsibilities.
"Those are our best players, and if they're not going to score and our power play's not going to work, you better win the game 1-0, but they're not playing good enough now to score goals," Boudreau said. "We could call it snake bitten, we could call it [that] they're facing adversity and not being able to handle the adversity and fighting through it; feeling sorry for yourself."
There's little denying that in the past four games, the Capitals, and particularly the players Boudreau singled out, have looked out of sorts. Yes, there have been moments in which goals went in -- like Ovechkin's trademark tally against Toronto and Knuble's rebound in Dallas -- but overall, Washington is struggling to score.
During the current slump, the Capitals have scored more than one goal just once -- in the 5-4 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs -- and none of the six players Boudreau named have more than two points in this stretch. But looking back a little farther -- say, 11 games -- to when Atlanta shut out the Capitals 5-0 on Nov. 19, an overall lack of production is not a new trend.
The Capitals have been shut out three times and scored one goal or fewer in those 11 contests, and the volume of goals and point production hasn't consistently been where Washington and Boudreau have come to expect it to be.
Here's the breakdown of those six players during the past 11 games and past four:
--Alex Ovechkin: 2 goals, 8 assists // 2 goals, 0 assists.
--Nicklas Backstrom: 5 goals, 6 assists // 0 goals, 2 assists.
--Alexander Semin: 4 goals, 4 assists // 0 goals, 2 assists.
--Mike Green*: 0 goals, 1 assist // 0 goals, 1 assist.
--Brooks Laich: 2 goals, 4 assists // 0 goals, 1 assist.
--Mike Knuble**: 2 goals, 0 assists // 2 goals, 1 assist.
*Green missed two games in the past 11 because of injury.
**Knuble missed three with a broken jaw.
FROM THE POST
Last night's gamer: Panthers 3, Caps 0
Ovechkin takes his new look out on the town. (Bog)
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