The Washington Capitals lost to the Philadelphia Flyers 8 to 2. Here are fhree observations from the horrific loss.
- The team needs to shoot the puck on net more. In the game on Saturday versus the Flyers, the Capitals registered 23 shots at Flyers goaltender, Brian Elliott. Now, the team ranks last in the NHL averaging 25.4 shots per game before tonight, and during the game on Saturday, only Dmitry Orlov (4), Alexander Ovechkin (6), Devante Smith-Pelly (4) and Jakub Vrana (4) had more than 1 shot on goal. If the Capitals are going to have success this season, the 18 players who go play each game need to shoot the puck on net, especially if they want to create scoring chances. Toronto, who is off to a great start, before tonight’s game was leading the league averaging 41.3 shots per game.
- Grubauer struggled. Playing in his second game of the year, the goaltender started off well, but with a bit over a minute remaining in the 1st period, and with Washington on the power play, he came out near the circle, and coughed up the puck on a boneheaded play, and Flyers forward, Scott Laughton, had an easy tap in goal. Some coaches, perhaps even Barry Trotz, would have pulled the goalie, and inserted Braden Holtby, but after playing two tough teams in Pittsburgh and New Jersey, the backup was going to play the whole 60 minutes, and the combination of bad defense and the Flyers pouncing on numerous rebounds made for a long night for Grubauer. The Capitals better not hope that Holtby has a long-term injury. The organization, I believe, likes Grubauer, but in the two games he started, the backup has a 5.85 GAA.
- Fatigue. The team has played 3 games in 4 days, and it showed tonight. It seemed after two periods it was 5-2 Flyers, that the Capitals had warmed up the bus, and slowly started packing the gear away for the ride back home to D.C. Also, you can say with Washington missing Matt Niskanen, in what is a long-term injury, in which he will miss at least 10 games, and being replaced by newly called up defenseman, Madison Bowey, who in his debut was a -2, and was embarrassed on the ice by Flyers winger, Jakub Voracek, which led to the Flyers 3rd goal. The one statistic that was glaring to see, both Ovechkin and Kuznetsov were each -4. The only silver lining for the Capitals, is they will have a few days off, but then will have to face the first place, Toronto Maple Leafs, on Tuesday.