What’s the big take-away from Saturday’s loss to the Stars? If we have to face Dallas in our final run for the cup, it isn’t going to be pretty. The second period showed some chinks in their game. The Dallas Stars have had an amazing season so far and have some of the best players in the league on their team.Jaime Benn is second on the charts with overall points and has held that spot most of the season. Tyler Seguin is consistently in the top five as points earner. Both of these players are also top goal earners in the league. So they have, and will have, the scoring power.
The question for the future is how solid will their goalie be and can the Caps get around whoever they put in the net?
Although the Caps have only lost 10 games now, this was one from which they can probably learn the most as they move closer to the playoffs. If they want to beat the Dallas Stars next time, they will need to play the way they did in the third period right from the start. But really, as they work their one-game at a time philosophy, they have to keep an eye on the Western Conference and which team will present the greatest challenge to get to the final match.
Which brings us to the LA Kings, the Caps next opponent.
LA has found its way back to the top of the Pacific Division with a 30-16-3 record. From a scoring perspective, they don’t have a player in the top ten for points or goals. That said, Anze Kopitar always has a little surprise, like scoring three goals on the NY Rangers in his last game. The Kings are a shooting machine – they are the leader in Corsi shot attempts percentage (58.0) and second only to the Caps in power play percentage. The Caps will need to get out of the gate first and do all they can to have their goalies’ back.
- Their not so secret weapon against the Caps will be Jonathan Quick, if he is healthy. He currently ranks third in the league with wins (28) and has had three shutouts so far this season. He is the player often credited with leading the Kings to two Stanley Cup wins.
- Oh, but the Caps do have a slight advantage now that two of the Kings winning players (Richards and Williams) have moved to Washington and can give the coach some insight into what to expect.
We’ll be watching at practice this week to see what the coaches do, but we probably won’t report too much. Don’t want to give things away to the Kings!! Watch for pictures and our report following the game on Tuesday.