Last Two Weeks: 2-6
Place: 5th in the Southeast
In the middle of a four game road trip, the Wizards have yet to find that magic road W and fall to 0-23 on the road this season. The patience and reasons are running thin. The trip started with a promising double-overtime loss to Oklahoma City that was followed with a disappointing loss in Memphis that caused Wizards’ forward Nick Young to criticize the play calling.
Up until now the Wizards have taken their road losing streak in stride and have avoided pointing fingers. This looks to be the shot across the bow as the team struggles to figure out what they have to do to get a win on the road. It is surprising to see Young break away from his friendly, easy going, personality in the locker room, perhaps a sign of true frustration among the team. Maybe Young needs to start receiving $50 behavior fines like John Wall.
Kurt Hinrich returns to the team after sitting out a few games with an elbow injury, however the injury bug has bitten again with JaVale McGee (Flu), Nick Young (Calf), and new guy Mustafa Shakur (Leg) all suffering from ailments. This puts the team at a disadvantage as they complete their road trip and come home this Friday for Glibert Arenas’ homecoming.
Up Ahead: Monday at Dallas, Tuesday at New Orleans, Friday vs. Orlando
Record: 27-15-9, 63 points
Last Two Weeks: 2-1-2
Place: 2nd place in the Southeast, 5th in the East
The All-Star Break is a welcome respite for most of the Capitals right in the most crucial part of the season. While we’re a little more than halfway now (you can read Ben’s take on the season thus far) the break is a welcome rest for a team that could use it. The Caps have a bit of a home stint over the next two weeks, lining up games against Montreal, Pittsburgh, San Jose and Los Angeles, but add in a quick jaunt to Tampa this Friday night, and you’ve got a pretty rough run for the home team.
The Caps weren’t all resting, though, as Alexander Ovechkin and Mike Green headed south to Raleigh for a weekend of All-Star fun. Ovi put up two points on an assist and a goal, and Mike Green played 21:05 of even +/- hockey with 2 assists, though their Team Staal dropped the game. Ovi put the puck in the net just 0:50 into the first period off nice assists from Zdeno Chara and Mike Green, after wowing the crowd Saturday in his breakaway performance.
The Caps are going to have to buckle down and play some hard offense over the next week if they want to make up what has been largely a slow January and December for the reigning President’s Trophy team. Up first? How about crashing the next a bit more and working on getting some offensive production up? The Caps have struggled to build an aggressive offense this season. After last seasons +85 goal differential, 50 games in the Caps are at just +11, and their goals per game of 3.82 in 2009-2010, is down to less than 3 goals per game. That’s where you start.