The Capitals entered this season determined to win the right way, to learn how to shut teams down, to not be the team that wins games by a score of 6-4 all the time but to do all that without sacrificing their potent offense.
To fully complete that transition and add a new dimension to their style of play is not an easy task. That alone can be gathered from the ups and downs the Capitals have had both in goals against and goals allowed. After preventing opponents from scoring more than three goals in all but two of the first 11 games this year, they've allowed more than three in five out of the past 13 and three or more in eight games during that same span.
Offensively they've been shutout four times in 13 games and scored two or fewer goals in seven. During the six-game losing streak alone they've been outscored 8-23. In order to see this process through, Mike Green says the Capitals must be both diligent and patient in pursuit of balance.
"It's finding balance and it's not always easy. I know that myself with my game, it just takes time," Green said. "If we can find that balance of playing our system to be strong defensively and still being able to create that offense that we're actually good at, which isn't easy, that's what can take us to the top. We've never really been great defensively, so now we're working on it. Now we're in transition with this hockey club and it's going to take time."
FROM THE POST
Many things haven't gone right for the Capitals recently and it appears many opponents are relying on similar methods to knock them off balance from their intended game and system.
Tracee Hamilton writes that Washington's struggles shouldn't be met with panic or rash reactions, but that's what the team is getting after instilling hope in a fan base so hungry to cheer for a winner.
Bruce Boudreau on the Capitals' goaltending situation: "We're not going after anybody else."
AROUND THE WEB
The first episode of HBO's "24/7" series on the Caps and Penguins airs tonight at 10 p.m. and will be replayed immediately at 11 p.m. One thing that you can expect to hear a lot of is profanity so, as HBO senior producer Dave Harmon told Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski: "hide the kids." (Puck Daddy with audio, D.C. Sports Bog)
A discussion about Bruce Boudreau's job security. (Japer's Rink)
Jay Beagle has picked up his scoring pace as the Bears entrust him with more ice time and responsibility while coping with the absence of some usual workhorses due to call-ups (Mathieu Perreault) and injury (Keith Aucoin). (The Patriot News)