Tonight the Caps take on the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second time on this shortened season. The last match up between these two was a doosey with the Caps losing 3-2. While they gained momentum with an early lead via Joel Ward, they were unable to keep the pressure for the full game which the Leafs capitalized on earning them two points in the standings. While the Leafshave great young talent, the Caps inability to play a full game is what’s plagued them throughout the start of this shortened season and has cost them many games in the third (think Ottawa and New Jersey).
Playing a full game is vital if the Caps want to amount to anything and even make the Playoffs, which is seeming less and less likely with each passing game. To even have a chance at winning this game, the Caps have to be able to keep offensive pressure on the Leafs and get pucks in front of the net, one’s gonna tickle the twine sometime.
This boils down to individual player responsibility. the so touted “big guns” need to actually show up. Ovechkin? He has half as many goals as Joel Ward and his points aren’t anything to talk about either. Backstrom? Other than the game against Philly, he’s been pretty invisible with only a handful of assists and points. I think I’ve made my point.
If the Caps want to be a true Cup contender or even a team that’s halfway decent, everyone needs to come out and play every shift, every game. Let’s hope they can pull it together tonight in the Phone Booth and secure another W in the standings.