The Washington Capitals have had two main performance issues this season and those are the inability to get even league goalie average and special teams constantly losing games.
It showed again in a 5-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
- The Capitals didn’t exactly blow the Blue Jackets out of the water five-on-five, but they did enough where the talent gap between the two teams should have tipped the game in their favor. They beat Columbus 14-5 in the third period but were still outscored 2-1, including Boone Jenner’s very last game-winning strike.
- That goal was one of the few really weak goals left by a Capitals goaltender on the night. It was Ilya SamsonovThe only goal allowed on seven shots after entering the game in relief, but the man was that all sorts of terrible rebound. Phoenix Copley didn’t exactly have the toughest workload in the world, but still scored four goals on 19 shots and probably showed why he was in the AHL over the past few seasons.
- The one move the Caps coaching brass made before the game to try to bring the power play to life was taking Yevgeny Kuznetsov out of the upper unit for Lars Eller. They soon realized that Kuznetsov was the only reason they were able to get the puck into the zone, so they put him back in his usual spot and he scored. It doesn’t inspire confidence in me any more that the staff knows what to do to fix this thing. The penalty kill also allowed two goals on just three tries by Columbus and as of Jan. 1, it’s the 29th-best penalty kill in the league. It’s bad.
Alex Ovechkin registered the first assist on Kuznetsov’s goal. With that assist, Ovechkin passed Sergei Zubov (619) for the third most assists by a Russian player in NHL history.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) February 9, 2022
- Another great night Martin Fehervary who continues to be a light in the darkness of many nights. With him on the ice five-on-five (16:37, second only to Orlov), the Caps outshot Columbus 29-14, outscored them 14-6, beat them 2-0, beat them 16-5, and an off-high danger gave them a 6-to-2 chance.
- John Carlson recorded an assist on Kuznetsov’s goal to give him 557 career points, passing Dale Hunter for the sixth-most points in franchise history.
- Another good night from the fourth line as they scored their first two goals. Carl Hagelin scored that goal in spirit if not in reality.