Washington Capitals: 3 Ways the Caps Can Bounce Back Against the Canucks
When the Washington Capitals defeated the Detroit Red Wings by a devastating score of 7-1 a week ago, the only question in the minds of Capitals personnel was how much longer the seven-game unbeaten streak would continue. No one imagined that the Edmonton Oilers, who have picked first overall the past two years, would end it.
Lost in the disappointment surrounding the 2-1 defeat in Alberta on Thursday night is the fact that Washington remains the team with the best record in the league and, at 7-1-0, is still off to a great start.
That said, it would be a good idea to try to bounce back to continue that good start against the Vancouver Canucks.
3. Crash Roberto Luongo's Net
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When it comes down to it, Roberto Luongo is without a doubt one of the best goalies in the NHL. That said, he has struggled a little to start the season.
Luongo has just two wins through six games, having posted an underwhelming .868 save percentage as well as a bloated 3.45 goals against average. He is on edge. The Capitals desperately need to take advantage of that.
They need to shoot often, follow their shots, get in his face and get him off his game. Keeping Luongo in the dumps could be the key to victory for the Capitals.
2. Get Mike Green Back in the Team
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It looks as though Mike Green will not, in fact, be ready for action against the Canucks. It's a shame. He really makes a difference for the Caps.
The Caps need to get Green back in action as soon as possible. He has three goals and six points through seven games and is returning to the form of the Mike Green of the past. Sean Collins did not necessarily do anything wrong, but Green was missed against the Oilers.
The hope is that we see him back in the lineup against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.
1. Stay out of the Box and Take Advantage of Power Plays
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Last year, the Capitals had one of the best penalty kills in the league, but saw their power play struggle. Early this season, the roles appear to have been reversed, with the Caps sitting 20th in the league with their PK and third with their PP.
Taking too many penalties was a major problem in the loss to the Oilers. The Caps took a total of nine penalties, with the Oilers scoring on two of them. Sure, you can put blame on the referees, but that does not fully excuse the amount of penalties given up. When your penalty kill is struggling, you have to stay out of the box.
As mentioned, the power play has been one of the major strengths so far. It did not perform against the Oilers. The Caps went 0-for-6, taking just five shots and never looking particularly threatening. The power play needs to be better against the Canucks.
Follow Jake Ware on Twitter at @JacobWare95