Coaching, Luck Sink Capitals
April 30, 2017, 11:57 AM ET [98 Comments]
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The Capitals are down 2-0 to their arch-rival and the defending Champions. They've lost both games at home and things are looking bad.
I'll spare you the B.S about whether this is a team that 'can get it done' or 'win when it counts'........I mean there's only like eleven sports cliches in total and about eight of them have been applied to the Capitals after seemingly every loss.
It's cheap, lazy and annoying.
But I mean, what are you supposed to say? There are only so many angles and you gotta file that copy, record that podcast or interview that player.
So the best team in the NHL for the last two years is on the verge of elimination.
But really, what are they supposed to do better? No one expected Marc-Andre Fleury to get into the dark arts. It wasn't predictable that he was going to sell his soul so that he could get the talents of Dominic Hasek and shock the hockey world by stopping all 3456 shots the Capitals put on net over these first two games.
What the _______ was Barry Trotz thinking?
"Hey it's 3-1 going into the most important period of your lives. Our Vezina winning goalie has let in three goals - all on breakaways or odd-man rushes - including one where the physics don't even seem possible, so here's my plan: I want to remove our best player from the game and replace him with a guy who hasn't played in a month."
Terrible, absolutely terrible decision by coach.
The Penguins have a PDO of 106 after the first two games of this series. The Capitals have played well. Sure, there's a mistake here and there that's led to a goal, but every team makes those mistakes every game.
If the Capitals trust the process and keep playing like they have, they can still win this series. Marc Andre Fleury isn't going to shut them down forever. Braden Holtby is extremely likely to bring his save percentage back to it's normal levels.
2-0 seems bad. But when you deserve to be up 2-0 and not down, you just have to remember not to do anything stupid and over adjust. (Like, pulling your goalie for instance).
The Capitals have a better roster. They are healthier and they've been the best team in this series. There is no reason for them to concede this series.
Situation is not ideal, but it isn't the disaster it seems.
The Capitals are the better team, and now they get to play the rest of the series knowing that the Penguins save and shooting percentage is almost guaranteed to drop.
It won't be easy, but all good teams overcome things like this - winning a Championship wouldn't mean so much if it wasn't hard.
The Capitals controlled damn near 70% of the shot-attempts over the first two games. If there was ever a winnable series after being down 2-0........
Pittsburgh can't be lucky forever.