The Washington Capitals have gone to major lengths to promote Barry Trotz since hiring him this summer. And while Trotz is certainly an improvement over former coach Adam Oates, the Caps still find themselves as a middling team (after a scintillating October), with fans finding little to be excited about for the future.
Sigh. Am I all alone in thinking that Caps fans are kind of at a low right now? The team is still way better than the Oates!Caps, but this ain’t exactly working either. All the great stuff the Caps were doing in October is gone now, and all the inefficiencies in the lineup are costing goals on a nightly basis.
We’re one month out from the Winter Classic, but the community seems melancholic. I don’t blame ‘em; at some point wins are needed to justify enthusiasm. The Capitals have let you down.
Meanwhile, Trotz’s former team, the Nashville Predators are undergoing a renaissance without their former bench boss. The irony is miserable.
Sports Illustrated ranked the Preds the number one team in the league when they released their power rankings this morning. And that’s with former Capital Filip Forsberg leading the team, the same guy Trotz and David Poile buried in the AHL last season.
I don’t put a lot of stock in power rankings, but you might find this interesting.
Brian Cazeneuve: The Predators remain the league’s best team at even strength and the team’s confidence is growing. Forward Filip Forsberg recently garnered NHL Rookie-of-the-Month honors, while goalie Pekka Rinne was named the league’s Third Star for the month. The Preds come off a super homestand in which they played four home games and recorded four one-goal wins against Florida, L.A., Edmonton and Columbus.
Just for the hell of it, let’s take a look at the NHL Standings and see how the Caps and Preds stack up a quarter of the way into the season.
Worth noting: Nashville’s goaltending– 94.63 percent during 5v5– is first in the league. Rinne’s good, but that’s probably unsustainable.
And it’s still early. The Capitals (especially some of the younger players) are still learning Trotz’s system and the NHL style of play. At times this season, the Caps have basically iced three rookie centers. But after another “tune-up” over the offseason, hearing that same sputtering sound is getting old.
GIF by @myregularface
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