Washington Capitals State of the Union: Post-Winning Streak
Streaks can be fun, streaks can be good, but sometimes streaks can paint an unclear picture.
In this case, for the Washington Capitals, the streaky team has made a new benchmark for themselves, and at what cost?
Washington is home to some of the biggest "bandwagon" fans of any sport. Thus being said, obviously any team that wins will attract fans. These "bandwagon" fans will now expect wins, wins, wins, and more wins;therefore, any loss will just about be considered intolerable.
Through this recent 14 game win streak, the Capitals relied on goal scoring, because they had to come back in eight of those games to win it.
Come playoff time, this new "rely on goal-scoring" philosophy will not cut it. The problem is defense, and goaltending not always associated in this statement. The goaltending has been stellar at times, but throughout the season has been left out to dry.
Defensively, with the exception of two defenders, Washington plays the puck and doesn't take the physical approach. Evident in why the Capitals lost in overtime to the Canadiens. If Jeff Schultz had played body the Caps would've been in the shootout. That is just one play though, but it's the concept that matters in this case.
All that is besides the main point, this article was never meant to be negative. In lew of the Capitals having this win streak, the fans are merely satisfied with winning now. Realize, by this being said the objective is not to say winning is bad. Winning in the hands of certain types of fans can be bad.
The Caps fans see winning as, "We're the best team, we're winning, and keep doing what you're doing." Usually true, the old adage don't fix whats not broken comes to mind. But in this case, there were many flaws that were seen of the Capitals during the streak.
Defense got better but still has some ways to go, goaltending can be good but not counted on(because of defensive nature), rely too heavily on their goal-scoring to bail themselves out, and score in the third to win or comeback.
On those last two notes, you live by the third, you die by the third. Same goes for goal-scoring. What's common between perennial championship winners in sports? The offense compliments the defense, and doesn't always bail the defense out. Granted a good offense is great, but there's also other great offenses out there.
If the Capitals do not shore up their own end, then they will be a great team that did not win the cup. Plain and simple. They are extremely enjoyable to watch, but they need to get the fundamentals down in their own end. There is time to mend it, but sooner is always better than later when talking about defense.
One last sentiment, currently the Caps are on a two game losing streak. Most Caps fans start complaining and wondering what's going on? First, anytime a team goes on a big win streak losing WILL follow.
It happens, there's extreme amounts of emotion and energy pored into win streaks that will have a "hangover" effect. Second point, although there were flaws that were pointed out in this article and massive amounts of complaining by Washington fans, enjoy what you have.
Name the last time a Washington area team went on a streak like the one that just ceased and is at a commanding lead in the eastern conference? The answer is not in a while. In essence, to Caps fans out there, you are in the midst of a fantastic team that is enjoyable to watch.
Enjoy every second of it and be thankful you are alive to be apart of it. Support the players, expect good hockey, and cheer on the caps no matter what record they have or who is on the team.
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