Taking penalties, 25 minors on the season, is bad enough for the Washington Capitals. That they’ve taken so many within minutes of one another has spelled doom.
Three five-on-three penalty kills and three goals by opponents in such situations.
“Too many penalties. We’re taking them in bunches at one point in the game,” defenseman Mike Green said. “Then we get tired and then we lose momentum. We need to be smarter. I think the penalties we’ve [taken], have been legit. We need to keep our mouth shut and, also, enough flicking pucks over the glass when we already have a penalty to go down five-on-three. So just got to be smarter. We’ll be fine.”
The Caps have two penalties for mouthing off at officials, one for abuse of officials and one for unsportsmanlike conduct. They have three delay of game penalties for flicking the puck over the glass. And they have three penalties while already on the penalty kill.
“When they’re in quick succession like that, it’s tough to continue to try and get momentum,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “You may kill one and get a little bit of momentum, but you take another one. Lately we’ve been putting yourself down 5-on-3 for an extended period of time. You’re not going to be able to kill too many of those off.
“It’s been tough. We haven’t been able to get any momentum with our penalty kill and then when we do get scored on, it seems like we get scored on again right away after. I think the abundance of penalties is kind of what’s contributing to our lack of PK success.”
The Caps are just 16-for-24 (67 percent) on the penalty kill.
“You take a five-on-three in this league, it’s hard to kill those,” center Jay Beagle said. “I think from my standpoint I just had to keep my feet moving and that would have eliminated those penalties.”