Jack’s most recent column for SB Nation D.C.
Deciphering the make up of the Washington Capitals has been no easy task this season. Losing streaks, scoring droughts, and a higher commitment on the defensive end have all combined to give onlookers a completely different feel for a team that, at one point, offered them the NHL’s most exciting brand of hockey.
Now with their offensive numbers on the decline, Washington has been searching for a way to grind out close games for much of the year. In fact, the Caps have lost eight straight in overtime, and of their last 15 games, eight were decided by one goal. Their record in those games? An unimpressive 2-6.
I’m no expert, but I know a losing record in one goal games isn’t a recipe for success in the playoffs. For a reversal of fortunes, the Capitals will have to dig deep to find some of that mental fortitude which has so often eluded them in crucial situations and learn to score timely goals against tough opponents. That’s the only way they can revert to the form that won them 54 games last year.