A look at how the Washington Capitals can fix their atrocious power play

Dylan Strome, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Dylan Strome, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals may have turned things around lately but there is always room for improvement. One of their bigger issues remains in how bad the power play is. How bad is it? Well, let’s take a look at the numbers.

So far this season the Capitals are 3 for 41 on power play opportunities. That equates to just a 7.3 percent power play percentage. Yeah, that’s bad. That’s 31st in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues being the only team that’s worse on the man advantage.

Among those three power play goals, two of them were scored by team leading scorer this season Dylan Strome. The other one was from you guessed it, Alex Ovechkin.

Here are the units of the power plays via Daily Face Off:

PP1: Tom Wilson, Connor McMichael, Matthew Phillips, Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson

PP2: T.J. Oshie, Dylan Strome, Sonny Milano, Alex Ovechkin, Rasmus Sandin

A lot of people say it’s time to take Ovechkin off the power play. He’s first all time in the NHL in power play goals with 300. I kind of agree with that but the great eight also needs his goals.

At the very least, Ovechkin should be on one of the power play units and not both. He’s getting up there in age. He just turned 38 in September. Having a 38 year old on both power play units creates fatigue and that fatigue probably contributed to his slow start to the season.

I like having Connor McMichael on the first power play unit as well as Matthew Phillips. That’s key. They’re both young and have speed. In Ovi’s spot in the first power play unit, they should insert another youth such as Beck Malenstyn, who’s been a key component to the Caps hot streak.

John Carlson? Ehh a little up there in age too at 34. Maybe put a younger defenseman in like Alex Alexeyev or Martin Fehervary when he’s healthy. Keep Tom Wilson where he’s at on the first unit.

On the second unit T.J. Oshie can be questionable but that’s it. If you’re uncomfortable with Alexeyev or Fehervary up top maybe move Rasmus Sandin to the top while one of the other two go on the second unit. Back to Oshie, he hasn’t had a goal yet. Maybe McMichael could play both units for the time being.

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Regardless of who plays where, the Caps know that if they want to continue their momentum they need to improve the power play. And fast.