Well, That Went Well: Kings Drop Caps, 4-1

The Caps lose to the Kings

Photo credit: Jacquelyn Martin

The last time these two teams met, the headless Caps were reeling. After trading away captain Chris Clark, Washington failed to put together a full 60 minute effort and just looked plain off in Los Angeles. Now, more than a year later, the boys from DC have a man with a ‘C,’ but that tune still sounds awfully familiar.

Just over a minute into the contest, Alex Ovechkin ripped the Capitals only tally past Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier. The goal came the moment I was settling in with my nachos at Verizon Center. Coincidence? I think not. However, Anze Kopitar would have something to say about that in the second, flipping the puck over a seated Semyon Varlamov to knot the game at one. Then with 16:24 left in the third, Andrei Loktionov gave L.A. a 2-1 lead as the biscuit once again got past an out of position Varlamov. It would only get worse for the Capitals as Michal Handzus and Jarret Stoll pushed the lead to three. By the end of the game, Verizon Center was half empty. Kings beats Caps, 4-1.

  • Ovechkin‘s goal was unassisted, making him the only Cap to register a point. Ovi came down the off wing, used Drew Doughty as a screen, and then… BOOM!  Just like old times, right? After that, the wheels completely came off.

  • The Capitals failed to get over 10 shots on goal in any period. Eight, seven, eight. What’s our rule? If they don’t register 10 in a period, then they didn’t play hard enough.
  • Washington’s power play continues to struggle as the Caps went oh for four on the man advantage. When David Steckel has your best scoring chance on the PP then perhaps you should simplify your game.
  • In a related note: the Kings’ first three goals came off rebounds.
  • Mathieu Perreault struggled in the dot, winning just two of his nine draws.
  • Mike Green and Jeff Schultz both had a minus three for the game. Ouch.
  • John Carlson blocked four shots in the first period alone, five for the afternoon.
  • Matt Hendricks played his usual rough and tumble game, registering a game high seven hits while also managing four shots on goal. Hendricks continues to be one of the few Capitals who seems to be giving it his all night in and night out.
  • Both Alex Semin and Brooks Laich were benched by Bruce Boudreau during the final six minutes.
  • The players had a closed door meeting after the game. Afterwards, Mike Knuble addressed the media and said, “I don’t know what we’re waiting for.  There’s a lot to play for — as players, as individuals, as a team. There’s a lot. Every game is important,” He continued, “Those are huge points we left on the table the last two games.”
  • And finally, how bad was it? D.J. King was awarded the Palm as CSN’s player of the game for his fight in the first period and his four hits overall. He had 7:22 TOI, the lowest on the team, and his fight actually seemed to energize Los Angeles.

It’s been a lifeless last two games for the men in red. Sure, it is just 120 minutes of hockey, but the offense was nowhere to be found and the team looked like they had no passion. Just lost. Now, Washington will try to find their mojo as they head off to the valley of sun. It’s the start of on a big 5-game, 9-day road-trip for the Caps.

Catch you back here Monday.

Ian Oland contributed reporting.

  • I feel bad for Greenie … it’s not his fault that Schultz is such a terrible D; he still has to reap those “rewards.” The only worse defenseman on the team is Sloan. Why BB keeps pairing Green with Schultz is just beyond me … Green did much better with Hannan, and Schultz is better when he’s paired with Erskine. For that matter Green does better when he’s paired with Hannan. The only D-pairing that’s really working right now is … Karlzner … but then none of the offense is working either.

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  • Rockin’ The Red in VA

    This game made it official. . . We always play down to our opponents!

    How is it we go out and CRUSH Montreal and Pissburgh in back 2 back games, then fall squarely flat on our face the next two? The Caps have shown that on any given night they can play like they are the best team in the league and before we know it they play and look like bottom dwellers!

  • BobbyG

    This team continues to frustrate and confuse me. After their wins vs. the Lightning and Penguins, I felt I was ready to believe in them again. Now, after the losses to the Sharks and KIngs, I’m back to losing faith. This on-again off-again exhibition of effort and focus is getting to be too much to handle. These guys all need to look in the mirror and be accountable.

  • J.P.

    This “team” gave up. Again. They’ve been an embarrassment all season because they’re lazy; because they won”t shoot when they have the chance; because they have no character and no heart.
    This team is a reflection of the poor leadership both on the ice and off the ice. Ovi and BB have have both garnered epic fails for a large part of this season. If Ovi can’t step up and lead this team, then it’s time for someone else to wear the C. As for BB, it’s time to cut bait.
    When your players won’t take direction for the simplest of tasks, when your players can’t muster up more than a few pathetic shots on multiple power plays, an issue that remains unfixed since last! freaking! year! when your players get outworked and outhustled on a nightly basis something is horribly, terribly awry. That something starts and stops squarely at the feet of BB. When the lowly New Jersey Devils are striking more fear into their opponents and winning more than the Caps have over the last 10 games or so, it seem awfully clear that a change is in order.
    Don’t even get me started on Schultz. Last year’s fake-ass mirage of a +50 plus/minus ratio was apparently accomplished with smoke and mirrors ‘cuz the light shining on him this year reveals a slow-footed defenseman that can’t cover and can’t clear.
    Last year teams came into the Verizon Center hoping that they’d play well enough to not get embarrassed too badly. This year teams come in knowing they can win if they just hang around long enough. Every team knows that the Caps rarely put a full 60-minute effort into games, so all they have to do is outwork the home team. Considering how little effort the home team puts into it this year, well, opponents are practically salivating for a chance to take down last year’s President’s Cup winners in their own building. Again, when the same problems crop up ad nauseum, it’s a failure of leadership across the board and is probably uncorrectable at this point by the current helmsman. Time for a change. Time to shake things up. Time for Boudreau to go.

  • Avtopilot

    that was a bad lazy defeat. there was no passion, no teamplay, no chances.

  • arakakij

    Aw, man…

    So I got up 0230 am for this!? Really!? I tuned my TV off and went back to bed to catch some Z’s right after the kings scored 3rd goal.

  • barb

    sad game yesterday 🙁

    instead of benching semin and laich, it’s time to replace bruce. how much help is he really being when his only response to losing is to scream and curse and spazz out like a toddler throwing a tantrum? it makes me sick to even look at him any more.

    the problem is not the players. the problem is the coach.

  • deann

    I was at the game and did not have a great view of the 3 goals in the 3rd. Were these goals bad goals? In other words, did Boudreau blame the loss on Varly (“if you want to be a great goalie”) even though again, we can’t generate any offense and come out and play inconsistently each night?

  • deann

    Bravo JP. That was fabulously done.

  • Cathy W

    Amen, JP, amen.

  • Bucky Katt

    Nailed It, JP. Now the question is when will Teddy and GMGM get it?

  • I wouldn’t call Jeff Schultz a terrible defenseman. I think he’s a solid stay-at-home D. That presence allows Green to take more risks, which leads to more goals in the end. He doesn’t really directly add anything offensively so I feel his value isn’t appreciated. But everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

  • BobbyG

    I wonder what the players really hoped to accomplish by meeting behind closed doors for about 11 minutes after yesterday’s loss. The upcoming five-game road trip will tell us a lot about what this team is made of, and whether they are capable and willing to back up their words with on-ice results. Talk is cheap; it’s time to walk the walk.

    If anyone hasn’t already gone there, check out Peerless Prognosticator’s blog. His two posts yesterday include a spot-on recap of the game plus an entertaining (and painfully accurate) Caps/doughnuts analogy. I love Peerless for his insights and ability to make me laugh even in my darkest hours following a Caps loss. The old saying about how humor can and often does evolve out of tragedy is very true.

  • Mia

    I’ve been a fan for 30+ years and now I’ve gotten to the point where I am so over-the-top ticked about BB and his “coaching” style that I will become a Toronto Maple Leaf’s fan next year if something is not done about BB ASAP. It has made me begin to dislike hockey little, simply because GMGM and whomever else is letting this team slide into oblivion right before our very eyes. WHY, I say WHY? I’m trained in “reading” people and there are some key indicators that BB has very little “genuine” umph behind any of his bleeping, bleep, bleep tirades. Find an FBI or other such agency micro-expression or behaviorists who diagrees with me and I’ll have one of Crosby’s babies!
    Some of the guys on the team are losing their love of hockey and a miserable hockey player makes for some pretty miserable play.
    I’m left wondering why I don’t drink – Oh, I get it, this is the Hockey Gods of telling me I’m a slacker and I should be the first one in line to try out that new bottom’s up beer giver at the V Center. Never mind everyone, mystery solved, the Washington Capitals just want us to drink more beer!

  • andrew

    im new.. hello! gotta say schultz isnt a bad defensemen… he got hurt and hasnt really seemed to get back in to form since.. hannan hasnt looked great either.. i think karlson and alzner are going to be a great d pair for a long time.. ovi had a nice goal in this game and he seems like he is starting to score and looks better on the ice.. benchin semin and laich is a bad move they are both workhorses for the team semin is rusty from being hurt its not like benching them is going to win you the game.. it only leaves a bitter taste in your teams mouths when they go home saying did bruce really bench them?.. i think bruce did some good things when he first came to washington.. but it is definitely time for him to go.. he doesnt seem to adjust to anything and the players really dont seem to respect him…
    it feels like the capitals are the dallas cowboys of hockey.. and need regime change to a hard nose no bull kind of coach to really whip them in to shape and get this team to roll on cyclinders again

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