Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Marcus Johansson has only one shot on goal through two games.
The Washington Capitals' top line currently consists of Alex Ovechkin at right wing, Nicklas Backstrom at center and Marcus Johansson at left wing.
On paper, that's a formidable trio: equal parts blinding speed, pinpoint passing and world-class goalscoring.
But hockey is played on ice, not paper.
Perhaps the Capitals' top line should be reminded of that fact. After two games, the trio has combined for no goals, three points, 14 shots and a plus-minus rating of minus-five. Marcus Johansson has played so poorly that he was removed from the top line during Tuesday night's game, and recorded only 13 shifts and 10:30 of ice time.
Alex Ovechkin shared his thoughts on the first line's performance with Katie Carrera of The Washington Post following the season opener:
"...Our system and our skill level, we have to play better. We have lots of time [on] ice and we have to play better. We make some stupid plays out there sometimes in neutral zone and offensive zone. If you watch the whole game, we have only a couple rushes and we never stop in their zone. We never play [in] their zone. It’s blame on us.
If Ovechkin, Backstrom and Johansson simply produced, there would be nothing to blame them for. There would also be a lot more to cheer about for the Washington Capitals.