Washington Capitals superstar, Alexander Ovechkin was named the NHL's #1 star for the month of January. For the month, Ovechkin posted a league leading 22 points ( 13 goals, 9 assist) in 13 games played, and recorded a +9 rating. Rounding out the 3 stars for January were J.P. Dumont of the Nashville Predators as the #2 star, and Cristobal Huet of the Montreal Canadiens as the #3 star. Congratulations Alexander Ovechkin!
So what do goose eggs have to do with the Capitals you ask? Well, lets start back once again at last thanksgiving. Before tonights game VS the Columbus Blue Jackets, at Nation Wide Arena in Columbus, OH, the Caps have not lost back to back games since that time, which was when head coach Bruce Boudreau took over as bench boss. The numbers that Caps have put up since that time are in this blog's previous post, and they are fairly impressive. However, lately it seems the Caps have had a penchant for not showing up, and laying a big fat goose egg on the ice. In other words, they have been shut out, and it has been twice in thier last 3 games. They were shut out 1 week ago today in Montreal during the first game of a home and home series with the Canadiens, 4-0. Washington, and largely Ovechkin took care of business on the return leg at Verizon Center, winning that 2nd match up in 3 days, 5-4 in overtime, to finish out the month of January in fine fashion. Once again however, the Capitals decided not to show up, and laid yet another goose egg, this time at home, against division rival, and the Kovalchuk-less, Atlanta Thrashers, 2-0. The Thrashers are now tied for 1st place in the southeast division with that victory. A potential 4 point night for the Capitals in the SE division standings, wasted. At least the fans decided to show up for a change, with an announced crowd of 17,205. Not the kind of performance you want to put on with one of your larger crowds in attendance for the season.
Disturbing to the coach, and the fans, has been the Caps lack of scoring from anyone not named Alexander Ovechkin, or the 1st line. (Ovechkin, Kozlov, Backstrom) The Caps have been by and large a 1 dimensional, one line team, and that isn't going to get you too far. Just when the "P" word (playoffs) was just starting to maybe have some real signifigance in Washington once again, the Caps are forced to regroup, and take a long hard look at getting more of thier players involved in the offencive production. This prompted the Caps to recall Eric Fehr from thier AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. Fehr will be placed on the top line with Ovechkin and Backstrom, while Kozlov will be moved to center the 2nd line. As I settle in to watch the Caps play the Blue Jackets tonight, if this change will help or hurt, remains to be seen. More after the game...
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