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The Washington Capitals were the best team in the NHL heading into the All-Star break. Since December, the team has looked shaky and inconsistent becoming a .500 team including posting a 3-6-1 record in their last ten games before last night’s 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
All-around, the Capitals have not looked the same and haven’t been consistent on both sides of the ice. Having struggles in net with goaltender Braden Holtby, not maintaining a good flow of in their offensive zone and simple mistakes leading to breakaways have been the cause of this drought.
When the Capitals are at their best, the puck is on a string and moves tape-to-tape on the ice. This just hasn’t been the case lately.
Knowing the huge milestone for the Capitals’ captain, Alex Ovechkin hitting 700 goals in his career, could’ve been the cause for the downward spiral. Ovechkin finally scored his 700th goal on Saturday placing him in a historic place as the eighth player to score 700 NHL goals in a losing effort against the New Jersey Devils.
The future Hall of Famers scored his 701st goal against the Jets after being honored for reaching the milestone.
The 34-year old Russian joined Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Jaromir Jagr (766), Brett Hull (741), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708) in the 700-club.
The Capitals won their last two games including a win over their arch rival Pittsburgh Penguins this past Sunday to take back control of the Metropolitan division with 84 points. With the milestone now behind the team, they look to focus on taking this momentum and carrying it over in the next coming months.
Washington have made some moves prior to the NHL trade deadline acquiring veteran defenseman Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2020 and 2021 draft pick, forward Ilya Kovalchuk from the Montreal Canadians in exchange for 2020 third-round draft pick and forward Daniel Sprong from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Christian Djoos.
These moves look to help bolster the Metropolitan leaders for not only the push for the playoffs but to get back to playing consistent hockey on a very high level again.
The Capitals look to shake off these woes and just simply win games. Their next game is at home in is away against the Winnipeg Jets on February 27th at 8:00 pm.
Using the momentum from defeating the Jets on home ice, the Caps’ look to improve play and get the new acquisitions ready for the Stanley Cup playoff run.