This year’s Capitals team was never going to be as good as last year’s. With a bunch of expiring contracts and an expansion draft, the team was bound to lose several key players after going all in for a Stanley Cup the last three years. But when Capitals management punted on making a change in philosophy over the offseason, the team hasn’t found its soul or identity since, unless relying on Braden Holtby to constantly stop high-danger shots is an intentional identity.
The Capitals’ 6-2 loss to the Avalanche felt bigger than just a bad loss. It felt like a realization that the team is in peril and there is something wrong. The players and coaches wore that frustration on their faces and in their body language at the end of the game.
Look at these faces.
The Capitals are now 10-9-1 and sit in fifth place in the Metropolitan Divison. They are three points out of last.