Washington sits one point out of the postseason in the NHL’s weakest division with 18 games left to play. The Caps aren’t dead men skating, but in the adolescence of coach Dale Hunter’s one-season contract, they have an identity crisis.
Are they the team that lost embarrassingly 5-0 to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, or the resilient grinders who put away the New York Islanders in overtime after lighting the lamp twice in the last four minutes of regulation?
No one knows—not even the Caps. The players haven’t enjoyed much consistency since Hunter took the reigns. His lines have more combos than the Wendy’s drive-thru, so it’s tough to achieve stability and, more importantly for this petulant team, confidence.