In my story last week cheekily apportioning blame for the Caps’ slump, my most pointed words were for Washington’s goalies. During five-on-five during the slump, Braden Holtby has saved 86.5 percent of shots and Pheonix Copley has saved 85.9 percent. These are two very bad performances. It’s neither difficult nor incorrect to identify them as the root cause the seven-game losing streak.
But the losing streak has also sparked a spirited conversation about team defense, which I understand to be the revolutionary concept that an entire team is supposed to play good defense. The implication is that head coach Todd Reirden is ultimately responsible for the recent underlying patterns beneath all the losing. This is wrong, but maybe not for the reasons you would think.