By Adam Vingan
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
The Washington Capitals are not literally insane, but after yet another formulaic 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Monday, could they be according to Einstein’s definition? Perhaps a checklist will break things down:
- Allowing the first goal on the road? Check. Jason Pominville scored just 51 seconds into the game while on the power play to start the onslaught. The Caps have allowed the first goal in 11 of 17 road games this season.
- A lack of road power play success? Check. The Caps entered the game with just six power play goals in 57 chances on the road (10.5 percent). Alex Ovechkin did score on the power play in the third period, but putting a positive spin on a 1/4 performance, a 11.5 percent “success” rate on the power play and the second-fewest road power play goals in the league at game’s end is hard.
- Allowing goals in bunches? Check. Washington has allowed their opposition to score in rapid fashion all season long. Monday, the Sabres scored twice in 2:19 at the start of the first period and 2:59 later in the period to put the game out of reach.
- Losing to teams decimated by injuries? Check. The Sabres weren’t as dinged up Monday as they were November 26, when they were missing nine regulars, but several starters (Ville Leino, Tyler Myers, Nathan Gerbe, among others) did not suit up. Combining the two Buffalo games with November 19’s 7-1 loss to a Toronto Maple Leafs team that was missing seven regulars, the Caps have been outscored 16-4 against teams with seemingly just as many call-ups as starters in the lineup.
- Losing on the road, period? Check. The Caps are 6-10-1 on the road and their 13 points are second-fewest in the East. Only five teams (Winnipeg, Carolina, Columbus, Edmonton and Anaheim) have fewer points away from home.
“Insanity in individuals is something rare, but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Amateur psychology aside, the Caps have fallen into the same traps all season long. That is insane.