What was a hit or miss for the third week of the season? Read on...
This week’s games:
Hit: Special Teams
Granted, there are still reasons to be a bit concerned about the power play overall, but it did click three times on 12 chances for a perfectly respectable rate of 25%. The penalty kill, on the other hand, is giving us very little reason to be concerned as it seems to be the one area in which the Caps are consistently proficient. This week was no exception, as the shorthanded squad killed off 11 of 12 of their opponents’ extra-man opportunities.
Honorable Mentions: John Carlson’s six points in three games, which (briefly) put him into the NHL scoring lead; Ilya Samsonov adding two more wins to his resume; the first regulation win in Dallas in almost 25 years
Miss: The Goalie “Controversy”
Ilya Samsonov has been very good so far in this young season; Braden Holtby, not so much. The latter made just one start this week, ceded three goals on three shots, got the hook... and then rode the bench for the next game against the Leafs. While the coaching staff may claim there’s no controversy just yet, they’re certainly setting the stage for one - at least among fans and the media, if not actually in the room.
Honorable Mentions: Defensive struggles, including some rough outings for Nick Jensen and Tyler Lewington; Jonas Siegenthaler and Richard Panik’s collision that sent them both to the locker room
3) Penalty kill - 11-for-12, including an 0-for-6 blanking against the Stars last Saturday
2) Ilya Samsonov - The Caps’ “backup” showed impressive maturity in all three of his appearances and stopped 72 of 78 shots faced (.923 sv%)
1) John Carlson - Another stellar week for the blueliner with six points in three games, bringing him to 14 points... which for a brief shining moment was more than anyone else in the NHL.
Week(s) in Review: Hit.
The game against a buzzsaw of a team in Colorado was not pretty as a whole, but the Caps didn’t fold up shop after falling into a 4-0 hole and actually made that one interesting. More importantly, that was their lone loss of the week. If you’re going to lay an egg, make it the only one of the week, and they did. sandwiching it between the rarest of regulation wins in Big D and a comeback win against the Leafs that saw them score three goals in less than two minutes.