We’re not here to push the panic button for the Capitals, there’s enough fans of the team that are taking care of that already after the Caps’ uninspiring 4-1 loss to Winnipeg last night. For the third straight game, however, the Caps would score first in the game and then get outworked by a motivated opponent.
The Caps have dropped five of their last six and seven of their last ten. It’s a tough stretch that sees the Caps alternating between a team that can’t stop the puck from either going in their own net or putting it in their opponents net. Even owner Ted Leonsis is bemoaning their play of late saying that they’ve got a lot of work to do.
Alex Ovechkin isn’t scoring enough for some fans’ liking, Alex Semin isn’t consistent enough, Mike Green continues to be hurt and the team misses his presence, Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun aren’t looking as hot anymore, and Roman Hamrlik turned into a skating statue.
The Caps need more from everyone all around and they’re not going to get help from their own division. Tampa Bay and Florida are now looking like threats to the Caps in the Southeast and while Carolina and Winnipeg are struggling, the Jets showed last night that there’s nothing easy to be had.
The stress of success is showing a bit on the faces of the Caps. The joy looks to be missing in D.C. and while that might seem like some cheap narrative to tug the heartstrings, there’s something off about this team. Riding the highs and lows of the season shouldn’t be this hard.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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