4 Straight Loses are Causing Concerns for the Washington Capitals

Peter Laviolette, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Peter Laviolette, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals have now dropped four straight games after starting the season with no losses in regulation in their first nine games. The Caps are now coming off of their third loss to the Penguins in just as many meetings.

The Capitals are 9th in goals for and 1st in power-play percentage, which shows that the always strong Caps offense is still firing. The problems are obviously on the other end.

Vitek Vanecek has a 3.26 goals-against average and a.901 save percentage in his 11 games this season. Overall these are not bad numbers for a rookie goaltender but in the past few games, he has been sub-par.

In the game vs Philadelphia, the Caps first line was responsible for every goal, and Alex Ovechkin had a four-point game. On the other end, Vanecek had four goals against on 14 shots before getting pulled. Craig Anderson came in after that and that didn’t show much more promise.

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Now, this isn’t all on the play of Vanecek as the Capitals defense is not playing up to their potential, but if the Caps goalies aren’t there to make a few key saves a game then Washington can’t be a cup contending team.

These struggles have raised questions about if Peter Laviolette was the right choice as a new coach. It is too early to think that the problem is with the new coach or if that the Caps would be in a better spot with Todd Reirden.

The Capitals have also had problems not being strong enough on the puck, losing puck battles, losing possession by trying to be too fancy with the puck, and not maintaining possession.

The problem could be that the Caps are not correctly executing Laviolette’s system, but we can only tell that from what we see on gamedays.

The Capitals have sent goaltender Ilya Samsonov to the Hershey Bears to get back up to speed, so there is hope that the young Russian will play up to the level Caps fans saw last season and put the goalie concerns to rest.

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With this being the most prominent concern for the Capitals it needs to be addressed immediately for them to get out of this slump. Washington will look to end their losing streak tonight as they take on the Penguins for the fourth time this season.