Blog Entry

Capitals look good all around in pounding Wings

Posted on: October 22, 2011 9:51 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 12:54 pm

By Brian Stubits

WASHINGTON -- How much do you read into a 7-0 start? Not much other than a team is playing well to start the year.

But what can you read from the Capitals' 7-0 start to the season after a 7-1 rout of the previously unbeaten Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night? Maybe they're more than just hype. This performance is what you can call a statement win. On the heels of a very solid win in Philadelphia?

There is a lot to like. Let me count the ways.

Mike Green is beginning to resemble the player we came to know a few years ago. He tied a career high with four points Saturday, including both Capitals goal on the man advantage.

His presence was a large reason why the Capitals power play is looking lethal again. Sharp, crisp passes and Green firing on net from the point?

"If we could go 2 for 4 every night, we'd take it," coach Bruce Boudreau said.

He isn't alone in the puck-moving duties. A healthy Dennis Wideman has been huge in that department. With an assist here, he has a point in each of Washington's seven games thus far. That ties a career high (noticing a trend?). John Karlson ain't too shabby either.

Their lineup has balance and depth. Marcus Johansson, who was a healthy scratch on opening night, is tied for the team lead in goals with four, including a goal against Detroit. Matthieu Perreault, himself a scratch on a couple occasions, scored twice to bring his total to three on the season. Overall, 14 different Capitals made their way on to the score sheet against the Red Wings -- 14!

"It shows that we got a lot of depth and everyone can score every night," Perreault said. "It makes our team pretty tough to play against. You got to get out there with four lines ready to go every night because our four lines are ready to go every night. It feels pretty good right now."

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"That shows the versatility and the depth on of this team," Troy Brouwer added. "Matty P's [Perreault] line scored two, well Matty scored two. Even our shutdown line was scoring tonight."

Players like Alexander Semin -- criticized for his playoff showings in recent years -- and Alex Ovechkin aren't carrying all of the offensive load. It's why Ovechkin's minutes are down this season and Bruce Boudreau wants to keep it that way. Johansson and Jason Chimera are the leading goal scorers so far, not Ovie, Semin or Nicklas Backstrom. Although it is worth noting that with two assists, Ovechkin might be warming up. That's points in three straight games.

They have some much-needed grit in the additions of Joel Ward and Brouwer, who had a team-high five hits Saturday. The line of Ward, Chimera and Brooks Laich -- the aforementioned shutdown line -- has been a nightmare on opposing top lines. Plus, those guys have some skill.

"It's good. That's how you win in this league," Ward said. "When you get each line scoring and in a positive manner, that's huge. That's what you need."

Oh, and there is this pretty sharp goaltender named Tomas Vokoun. He's just been OK if you find save percentages in the .960s good. Since an ugly debut, he's been lights out, allowing six goals in five games.

"It [being undefeated] feels pretty good," Vokoun said. "Obviously I am not custom to that feeling, so it's great. We work hard, we play hard and obviously we have the older talent. We are doing good things."

You are afraid to read too much into things so early in the season, but it's tough not to notice.

If we were to nitpick, though, we have to turn to the statistics. The Capitals are being outshot most nights, including 33-25 against the Red Wings on Saturday. A 28 percent shooting percentage is a little tough to repeat on most nights.

The Wings didn’t put their best foot forward Saturday night, starting Ty Conklin in favor of Jimmy Howard, who played in Friday night’s game. But they beat him like a drum.

"Anytime we lose it's disappointing [but] there's a lot of things as a team that we can take away from this," Conklin said. "I found a lot of ways we were really good, [but] like I said, the difference was in goal."

Tthere is no let up here. The balance is obvious just by looking at the ice time. No forward played more than 17:16 (that was Laich) and none played less than 10:20 (Perreault).

The word that comes to mind now is complete. The wholes are tough to find.

"The guys in here, it's still early in the season, we're real wrapped up and we're real excited to come into every game," Brouwer said.

"Right now we've been pretty hot and hopefully we can keep that going," Perreault said.

With so many contributors, that seems like a distinct possibility.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2011 4:35 pm

Capitals look good all around in pounding Wings

Nobody is bouncing off the walls.  I think most true Caps fans understand that the regular season is only a platform to get to the post season where games really count.  We all know how the Caps have fared in the post season, and it hasn't been pretty.  However, to downplay a solid win against an undefeated Redwings team is, likewise, not calling it like it is.  This is the comment that turned this conversation into much ado about nothing....and it was made by a Redwings fan.  No one mentioned anything about how the Caps were going to win the's just being spun into something it wasn't.

Let me start off by saying that the Capitols should be congratulted for thier big when. When ever you put up 7  goals againsed the Wings you are doing pretty good. Every team will lose big games like this doesn't matter who it is. Hell the next game the Caps could lose this bad you just never know. The only thing that pissed me off about this game was how the Caps celibrated thier victory. You thought that they just won the cup. Really guys its just one game of 82, thier still pletty off season left. That is my only gripe. The Caps should should really be congraulted for thier win this thier best start ever.


Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: October 23, 2011 6:27 pm

Capitals look good all around in pounding Wings

the capitals are 7 games into the season and all the caps fans are bouncing off the walls like they've done something special. theres quite a bit of hockey left to say the least. they've had the best record in the east like 4 out of 5 seasons now or something like that. so get over yourselves and get hype when the playoffs start and they win 7 straight games. until then, fans of teams who have actually got it done come playoff time will continue to let you know YOU HAVENT DONE ANYTHING YET

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2011 5:56 pm

Capitals look good all around in pounding Wings

Sounds like bad coaching to me.  Should have used Conklin against the sorry Blue Jackets and used the better goalie in Jimmy Howard vs. the Caps.  I'm still wondering why that decision was made.

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 2:30 pm

Capitals look good all around in pounding Wings

There is no such thing as a "statement win" in October in the NHL.
Especially at home against a team playing a back-to-back with their backup goalie. But, we've seen this story before...

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2011 1:35 pm

Capitals look good all around in pounding Wings

mar725 it's October man.  I think the Cap's are best team in hockey right now.  The games against Flyers, and Red Wings were terrific.  Pure domination.  I haven't caught all their games so far this year, but they look like a team that has something to prove.

but it's October...

little ceasars
Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: October 23, 2011 1:18 pm
This comment has been removed.

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little ceasars
Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: October 23, 2011 1:15 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 9, 2007
Posted on: October 23, 2011 12:16 pm

Capitals look good all around in pounding Wings

The Red Wings have won how many Cups this season?  Ooh, you mean in the past?  I got you.  Sure, the Red Wings team that got pasted 7-1 by the Capitals has won more Cups in their history than Washington.

I really do wish the Capitals had won a Cup or two so I would have a past to live in, kinda like the Pens' fans, who's team can't beat Washington these days no matter who is playing.  I believe the Pens are 1-12 against the Caps since they lucked out and beat them in a 7 game series 4-3 several years ago.  But, the past is all we hear about from their fans, and now it seems Wings' fans have been afflicted with the same 'curl up in a ball and remember the good times' malady.  A shame, that.  

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2011 12:07 pm

Capitals look good all around in pounding Wings

So, when the Caps finally DO win their CUP; according to the crybaby Pens fans, Red Wing fans, Flyers fans...etc, The Caps will be FOREVER better than your teams, right? Becasue, all that matters is the past. The present and future are NOTHING! The massacres of the Flyers and Red Wings are meaningless, right? Because your teans were once great, right?

Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: October 23, 2011 12:05 pm

Capitals look good all around in pounding Wings

come on. lets be honest. the capitals have done the same thing every year. win more then anybody else in the regular season, and choke themselves out of the playoffs. stop talking this team up like actually won a playoff series. when they do something when the playoffs come, then ill give the caps credit. btw, the best team in the east, is in an igloo and when there best player in the world comes back, this article will be about the penguins (who have won a stanley cup)

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