Capitals are too one dimensional

3/10/14 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

To win games in the NHL, teams must play as a unit and learn not to rely on individual play to lead them to victory.

One team that seems to have trouble understanding this notion is the Washington Capitals. The team has been inconsistent all season long and because of that, the team seems to want to overcompensate by relying on their big stars to do the work to help them win.

Mar 5, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin (8) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY SportsThis philosophy has hurt the Capitals in a big way this season. As of this writing, the team is in 10th in the Eastern Conference and out of a playoff spot, which come April, is all that matters and with the team relying too much on individuals to carry them, a playoff spot may be out of their grasp by the time they figure out the right way to go about winning hockey games.

For example, it is quite clear that the Capitals consistently rely on their team captain and superstar Alex Ovechkin to score all the goals for their hockey club. While it is actually a somewhat understandable concept considering that Ovechkin currently leads the league in goals with 44, it is not the right way to go about being successful in this league.

Other players besides Ovechkin need to start stepping up and putting the puck in the net. Guys like Nicklas Backstrom, Joel Ward, Troy Brouwer, Mikhail Grabovski, Eric Fehr, Brooks Laich, Mike Green, John Carlson all need to step up their offensive games and help Ovechkin out because he cannot do it all himself.

The Capitals also seem to be relying too much on their netminders to bail them out. While both Braden Holtby and Jaroslav Halak are solid goaltenders, the team in front of them needs to do a much better job of bailing them out.

As of this writing, the team is currently 24th in the league in goals allowed. The team can score all the goals they want (10th in the league) but if the team is not going to do a good job of playing well on the other side of the puck, it is going to be a problem.

Another problem with relying on individuals is that it sometimes lead to issues where the rest of the team is not jelling. This is exactly the case with the Capitals right now.

Ovechkin may be be on fire but no one else is joining him on putting the puck in the net on a consistent basis. Capitals' head coach Adam Oates needs to find a way to get all four lines going rather than relying too much on his first line to carry the club.

If the Capitals want to make the playoffs, they need to change their philosophy or else come this off-season, some changes are going to need to be made from top to bottom.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview