Overall a really solid start for the Caps. The underlying numbers are encouraging as well. Anything to complain about or right according to plan?
Amazingly, shockingly, the biggest issue for the Caps is their power play. You know, that same power play that has been operating at close to 25% for the last three seasons, the one that boasts guys like Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov? That’s the one. At the moment they’re operating at a 13.2% clip (just five goals on 38 tries), which is simply not good enough. And it’s not just the start of this season where it’s been an issue – the power play dried up late last season (with an isolated explosion of productivity in their first-round series against Philly). That’s somewhat troubling, and leads us to question whether the rest of the league has finally figured them out.
That said, 12 games in they’re still generating shots and chances with the extra man, and it is only 12 games in – that 13.2% isn’t the worst mark in the League tells you how early it is. There’s time for it to fix itself, and as long as they’re doing well at five on five – and killing penalties at the rate they are – they’ll probably be fine. Probably.