- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Penalties killing Caps
The frustration is clear in Bruce Boudreau's voice. He's tired of talking about all the penalties whistled on the Washington Capitals the past couple of weeks.
"Of course I don't like it," he said Monday, one day after the Florida Panthers scored three power-play goals in a 6-2 victory.
It's a growing issue for the Caps, who have committed 38 minor penalties in a six-game stretch that includes three losses. In those games, Washington has been forced to play short-handed 15 percent of the time.
"We talk about this the last couple of weeks: It is time to realize we can't play with four guys - we can't play on the PK the whole time if we want to win the game," left wing Alex Ovechkin said. "Everybody understands this."
The penalty kill is effective in some games - the Pittsburgh Penguins finished 1-for-8 in a loss to the Caps on Feb. 22 - despite a rash of calls. But the Caps have been short-handed for 54:46 dating to their loss to Colorado on Feb. 20 - meaning less time for Ovechkin and the offense to work on the other end.
That was a problem in the first period Sunday. After jumping to a 1-0 lead, the Caps committed three penalties before the first intermission; Florida cashed in on every chance.
Boudreau said some calls were "iffy at best." Still, giving up three unanswered power-play goals illustrates the danger of spending too much time in the box.
"Obviously it is discipline, but they were just outworking us," right wing Matt Bradley said. "When the other team is outworking you and you're trying to take the easy way out all the time, you're going to take penalties."
Boudreau made clear that his team wasn't taking lazy penalties connected to players not moving their feet. Lately, he and his staff have been showing the players what is and what is not considered a penalty by league standards.
"If they don't call [a penalty], you gotta assume you're getting away with one," Boudreau said. "Assume if you did it yesterday, you're getting lucky if they don't call it."
And the Caps' potent offense is making up for any lack of luck. Washington ranks third in the league with 213 goals and is tied for second on the power play, scoring 24.7 percent of the time.
But the short-handed stats are cause for concern. The Caps rank 22nd in the league (79.4 percent) in penalty killing, and the team has allowed 65 power-play goals - second most to Atlanta.
Florida's 3-for-6 performance Sunday didn't encourage Boudreau, but the good news for the Caps is that their penalty kill worked at an 86.2 percent clip in the five games before Sunday, aided by 1-for-8 efforts by Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
And in three games so far this season against Tuesday night's opponent, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Caps have allowed just one power-play goal in 12 chances. Still, the penalties are a trend Boudreau hopes to stem down the stretch.
"The whole penalty situation is something we look at," he said. "And I'm hoping within the next 15 games we can get it worked out."
Note - Boudreau said Viktor Kozlov is OK and reaffirmed that the forward did not play against Florida for precautionary reasons. Jay Beagle, who played in Kozlov's place, returned to Hershey of the American Hockey League on Monday.
c Staff writer Corey Masisak contributed to this report.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow