The Washington Capitals return home after a grueling road trip from British Columbia to Alberta, only taking one of three of those games. This has helped the Caps refine their lines with their chemistry, play style and injuries.
After the hefty loss on Vancouver, the Caps had a lot of thinking to do involving work ethic and tactics. Nothing clicked. Defense wasn’t present, goal scorers could not score, and with those not there, Braden Holtby fell victim to the Canucks.
The game in Edmonton, Alberta was surely a change of pace. The Caps played a bit more conservative and to their system. A lot started to click, which result in many scoring chances and opportunities. Once the confidence came back, the Caps looked a lot better because of it. The biggest change to the lineup was Devante Smith-Pelly, who was placed in the top six with the Russian duo of Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. DSP scored the first goal and an absolute snipe that night for the Caps with an Ovechkin-like one timer from Ovi’s office on the rush. He proved that he has potential to be a top nine forward.
The final game of the road trip in Calgary, Alberta showed us all how beaten up and fatigued the team was. They were surely ready to come home. Sporadic glimpses of confidence and grit, but nothing consistent. A close game and lose to close out the roadie is never fun for anyone. Alex Chiasson was placed on the fourth line, but was still put on the second power play unit. Barry Trotz must still be searching to uncork his gritty talent for net-front, veteran presence. All though he did not contribute to the Caps’ production department the entire road trip, maybe there is still hope in his signing later down the season.