If the Washington Capitals are going to overcome a slow start to the 2013 season, they will have to start looking to their top players to lead them.
You can go up and down the Caps roster and see exactly why the team is off to a poor start.
Some guys are playing well. Mike Ribeiro and Wojtek Wolski come to mind.
Other players—several of which had such high expectations—have not lived up to their potential. Braden Holtby has struggled so far, even though he has been hung out to dry by his defense numerous times—and we are barely even into the season.
You have players like Mike Green and John Carlson, both of whom signed pretty lucrative contracts in the offseason, and neither has done much of anything so far.
Green has put eight shots on goal and has a minus-one rating so far.
Carlson has an assist and seven shots on goal.
In general, though, the Caps defensemen have clearly not yet grasped head coach Adam Oates' new system and many costly mistakes have been made.
But the offense, which was supposed to be revamped by Oates, has been struggling.
Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom played together with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL during the lockout. One would think that would have helped their consistency and production.
Backstrom has two assists, six shots on goal and a minus-three rating.
Ovechkin, meanwhile, has zero goals, one assist and 11 shots on goal. If this is really going to be a year of resurgence for the "Great Eight," then he will have to amp up the intensity and fast.
Marcus Johansson has only two shots on goal through three games.
Jason Chimera has two assists and five shots on goal so far.
So, as one can see, if the Caps are to turn this around, their top players must perform better.
With a few of games to look at, it is easy to ponder how the Top 10 players on the Caps might fare this season.
Your top 10 might very well be different from mine. But for my top 10, I am looking at the 10 players I feel have the most impact upon how well—or poorly—this team will fare as the 2012-13 season progresses.
Here then are my predictions for stats for these Top 10 players for the 2012-13 season.