To paraphrase an infamous coaching quote, it appears Roberto Luongo is not walking through the Washington Capitals’ door. That’s straight from someone who should know, Washington general manager George McPhee.
It was fun to dream for a day that McPhee would make a bold move to shake things up. It’s not likely that Luongo would have singlehandedly erased the worst goal differential in the NHL, and there’s a definite argument to be made for not sacrificing too much of the Caps’ future. But it would have been a strong sign that the front office acknowledges that there’s a problem with the current mix of players, and that there’s the will to do something about it.
Instead, the answers are going to have to come from within. Let’s go “Around the Beltway” and find out what others are saying about that search:
- Adam Oates thinks the Capitals are playing good hockey, even if the results don’t really back that view. Convincing the players of that could be tricky. (The Washington Post)
- If it’s not a lack of effort or a problem with adjusting to Oates’ system, maybe it’s a lack of mental toughness that has the Caps in a funk right now. Even after they got a break with John Carlson‘s bank shot goal, they let the Penguins take over the game on Sunday. (NBC 4 Washington)
- Or maybe it’s the special teams that are the biggest issue. No argument there, as both the PP and PK units are in the bottom half of the league. The power play has been good at getting set up in the zone, but not so great at scoring goals. But the Caps are trying to get that corrected between games. (The Washington Times)
- Marcus Johansson hasn’t contributed anything when he’s been in the lineup. Like literally nothing. And if your eyes haven’t convinced you that he’s playing poorly, the numbers say he’s been exactly that bad. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- If you’d like to stats about guys other than MJ90, you can take a look at the team’s weekly stats. Warning: they aren’t pretty. Oh, and the team has to play at the pace of an 103-point team during a normal season for the rest of 2013 to make the playoffs, probably. (The Peerless Prognosticator)
Let’s not end this on a sad note, though. Here’s another look at Carlson’s goal to make you smile: