Entering Saturday, only three teams in the NHL – the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators and Philadelphia Flyers – had more double-digit goal scorers than the Washington Capitals’ eight. That statistic may surprise you and the likely reason is because the Caps’ secondary scoring – particularly from their forwards – has disappeared.
Brooks Laich’s second period goal during Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a scoreless drought of 308:30 (the equivalent of over five games) since a forward not named Alex Ovechkin or Alexander Semin scored for Washington. The last goal was scored by Jason Chimera February 7 against the Florida Panthers.
There have been a few forwards who have struggled all season, while there have also been others who started strong, but have plateaued lately.
- Joel Ward: 19 games since last goal (January 7); two goals in last 46 games.
- Jeff Halpern: 29 games since last goal (December 13); three goals all season.
- Mike Knuble: 29 games since last goal (December 5); three goals all season.
- Marcus Johansson (who had several scoring chances Saturday): four goals in last 20 games; scored five of his 11 goals in his first eight games of the season.
- Jason Chimera: four goals in last 32 games; scored eight of his 15 goals in his first 20 games of the season.
Fourteen of the Caps’ 20 goals this month have been scored by Ovechkin, Semin or defensemen, leaving only six among the remaining forwards in nine games. For a team trying to make a playoff push, a progression of these numbers will only hinder the Caps. The trade deadline is just over a week away, so perhaps much-needed reinforcements are on the way.