Monday the Washington Capitals will fly into Pittsburgh for the last leg of their road trip before returning home to face The Senators. It has been a bumpy trip so far and it’s anyone’s guess who they’ll face in the “City of Champions,” but it isn’t likely to be the team we have seen in seasons past.
- They fired Coach Mike Johnston on Friday and replaced him with AHL coach Mike Sullivan. They also fired assistant coach Gary Agnew.
- They have slipped in the rankings. At 15-10-3 they are 5th in the Metropolitan Division and outside of contention at this point even as a Wild Card.
- Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are well below their personal best this year. Crosby has 6 goals in 28 games and a -6. Malkin has about twice that with 13 goals in 28 games and leads the team in total points. Marc-Andre Fleury seems to be off his game with a .927 save percentage.
- They are struggling with their defense and with their powerplay (27th in the league) –once strong areas for them.
But change can be good.
Remember when we lost the lovable Bruce Broudreau? Remember the coaches that dragged the team down? Remember the Ovi slump?
We bounced back with the right coach and the right inspiration. It might seem too late for the Pens this season, but they are a fiercely competitive club and we should expect the unexpected on Monday.
Maybe having their favorite rivals in the house—ones who are having their own problems of late—might be just what they need to send the puck into our net. Either way, look for Monday to be a great game as two teams step it up to claim their place at the top of the leader board.