Caps vs Avs: a potential Stanley cup matchup with a lot of interesting questions.
The Washington Capitals look to rebound from a four game losing streak, by taking on the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs are one of the best teams in the western conference sitting at 72 points. The Caps are at 77 points. The point difference simply means the Caps have won three more games than Colorado. This may change as Colorado is one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now.
One big storyline heading into the game, is, will Ovechkin hit 700 career goals, which is obtainable, since he sits at 698 career goals. It is my personal belief that this milestone needs to be hit sooner rather than later. With the entire NHL watching and waiting for Ovi to hit this milestone, I believe that it is taking away from team focus for the Caps.
Another story, although not as big is the matchups in tonight’s game. Philip Grubauer was the backup goalie to Braden Holtby, when the Caps won the Stanley Cup. They will face off on opposite ends of the ice tonight. Tom Wilson and Andre Burakovsky used to be roommates on road trips and were also best buds. They play against each other tonight, and last time they played, lined up against each other.
Todd Reiden has proven that he isn’t a top tier coach, because he doesn’t make a lot of changes during the game. I believe this game will be a telling game for his coaching skill, because if the team needs a jump start, he will have to make changes. He also needs to work on different schemes and making passing the puck around, a focal point for the offense.
Lets talk defense and special teams for a minute. The Caps have given up a lot of short handed goals while on the power play. This has made teams more aggressive on the penalty kill. The defense has also struggled with making sloppy plays, and turning the puck over, leading to the opposing team, having more zone time on offense.
Lastly, Neither team has a lot of injuries, but one major one is Evgeny Kuznetsov. The loss of Kuznetsov, is a big loss for the Caps, as he’s one of the more skilled puck handlers. Hopefully, he has a speedy recovery, and is back soon.
The game is nationally broadcast on NBCsports and will start at 9:30 pm. You can also listen on 106.7 fm.