Washington Capitals remain in huge slump

BY JOHN SCOTT, Couchsideshow.com contributor

Washington Capitals winger Alexander Semin has just 16 goals in 56 games this season. Photo by: clydeorama / Flickr

It is tough to find the words to describe how poorly the Washington Capitals are performing. Embarrassing, is one. Terrible, could be another. This year they have 29 wins, 26 losses and 5 overtime losses and are currently in third place in their division, 20th in the league. How can you go from a semi-final dominant team to this?

The Caps should be a powerhouse in the National Hockey League. With players like Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Mike Knuble, Karl Alzner and John Carlson, they should beat teams left and right. But they’re not. In their past 15 games, they’ve won four times. They even lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 5-0 on Feb. 20. This isn’t Squirt hockey;  the Capitals should be putting at least one goal on the board against a team like that.

What the Capitals need to do is hire back former coach Bruce Boudreau. When he was on the bench, they did phenomenal. They made it to the playoffs almost every year and actually competed against teams.

The Capitals also need to find a solid goaltender to put between the pipes, and I think Tomas Vokoun could be their man. In the past three years, they’ve had five tenders mind net. They made the dumbest mistake of trading off their potential all-star goalie, Semyon Varlamov, to the Colorado Avalanche. I think what they’re trying to do is see how many goalies they can get and which ones the best for them. And right now, it looks as if Vokoun is the one. Keep him in net for maximum games and they will improve their record.

Don’t even get me started about Ovechkin. It seems as if he has lost his love and motivation for the game. He doesn’t have the strive he had during his rookie seasons. He competed so hard, showed 100 percent heart, scored goals and was a phenom. Now he’s barely scoring, rarely makes the highlight reel and is disappointing many fans and critics.

But back to the Capitals, they need to in a word, WORK. They’re easily a Stanley Cup contending team and if they used their full potential they could actually win a few games and maybe bring Lord Stanley back to Washington for the first time.

John Scott is a junior at Cody High School and longtime youth hockey player in the Wyoming region.

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