Preview: Caps host Habs, look to avoid 0-3 start to shortened season (1/24/13)
Maybe this is why Subban still hasn’t re-signed with the Habs – Photo by Clyde Caplan, clydeorama.com
Previous season’s match ups:
|Game 1 (1/18/12)||Game 2 (2/4/12)||Game 3 (2/24/12)||Game 4 (3/31/12)|
|@ Habs||@ Habs||vs Habs||vs Habs|
|Win: 3-0||Win: 3-0||Win: 4-1||Win: 3-2|
Still in search of the team’s first win of the season, the Washington Capitals play host to the Montreal Canadiens tonight. After a sloppy start in Tampa Bay on Saturday that resulted in a loss, things got even sloppier Tuesday night in another loss for the Capitals, this time during their home opener. It’s not time to throw in the towel yet, but it sure will feel like it if the Caps can’t come away with a win in this one. Winners in their last game played, will the Canadiens go for their second win in a row or will the Caps finally record their first win of the season?
Capitals (backup?) goaltender Michal Neuvirth is expected to get the start in net tonight against the visiting Canadiens. In 3 starts last season against the Canadiens, Neuvirth was undefeated, finishing with a 0.971 SV%, 0.97 GAA, and 1 shutout. With Holtby currenty at 0-2 on the season with a .863 SV% and 5.04 GAA, switching to Neuvy for tonight’s matchup is an encouraging change that will hopefully bring about positive results in the final outcome.
PP Coming Alive?
The Caps power play finally struck gold (not counting Ward’s goal on the delayed penalty for this example) very late in the game against the Jets on Tuesday night. So far the Caps PP has shown quick glimpses of promise, but has yet to really take form. However, if the Caps can continue to build off their success on the PP from the previous game, they will most likely see positive results in tonight’s game.
PK is Dead
The Caps allowed back-to-back PPG’s in the first period Tuesday night against the Jets. On the season total, the Capitals have allowed 5 goals while on the penalty kill, tied for second worst in the league. Like a broken record, if the Caps want to have success tonight, they need to kill off penalties.
Gotta go to work
After a lackluster effort by the Caps on Tuesday night, many players came under criticism from head coach Adam Oates for their lack of effort in the game. One player in particular was top line winger Marcus Johansson. On the brink of starting the season off 0-3, will the Caps show up ready to work tonight?
The Capitals were undefeated in four games played against the Canadiens last season. Further, two of these wins were shutouts. Can the streak continue?
No P.K. for MTL
The Canadiens still have not signed star defenseman P.K. Subban to a new contract. His presence on the Montreal blueline will definitely be missed…but not by this guy:
The Bottom Line
Starting the season off 0-3 would certainly be very alarming for Caps fans, but don’t be surprised if that is exactly what happens tonight. Unfortunately, this is the result of a weeklong training camp under a new coach with new systems without any exhibition games played. Adjustments like these take time. Yes, we’d all like everything to be fixed overnight, but that’s just not always realistic.
Switching gears from realistic to optimistic, regardless of the sloppy play so far, the Caps still have a great chance to win tonight. They have now had just under two weeks of practice/playing Oates’s new systems, about the normal amount of time you would expect a team to pick up a new system in training camp. Will the third time be the charm tonight in the district? Boy, I sure hope so. I’d prefer if my Twitter timeline wasn’t filled with negativity.
Posted on January 24, 2013, in Nosebleeder's Breakdown and tagged Adam Oates, Alex Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson, Michal Neuvirth, montreal canadiens, NHL, P.K. Subban, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.