News & Politics

What’s Wrong With the Caps?

They’ve lost four of their past five after a hot start. Should we be worried?

Should we be worried about the Caps’ recent losses? Photo courtesy of Flickr user clydeorama

The Capitals began their season with a seven-game winning streak, so it was only a matter of time before they came back down to earth again. They’ve gone 3–6 since, including losses in four out of their past five games. Is it officially time to panic? No, but it’s probably worth exploring some of the team’s possible pitfalls.

Because Alex Ovechkin lacks cardiovascular endurance and is fat needs to adapt. Theories regarding Alex Ovechkin’s offensive slumber have been swirling around for years. Whether it’s in newspapers, on the Internet, or around any bar within a thousand feet of Verizon Center on game nights, people are always speculating. The idea that opponents have figured out Ovi’s game has floated around for a couple of years, but a recent article by Stephen Whyno delved deeper into the issue.

After talking to coaches, opponents, and the player himself, Whyno suggests that Ovi’s game may be in need of a reinvention. Other athletes at the top of their profession have managed to make over their approach, from Tiger Woods to Manny Pacquiao. Ovi may play a team sport, but, like those two, he is a singular talent. Maybe all he needs is hockey’s version of Butch Harmon or Freddie Roach.

Mike Green can’t stay healthy. Much like last year, the defenseman is finding it difficult to stay in the lineup. First it was an ankle injury, now it’s his groin. The Caps are always better off with the speedy Green in the lineup, so hopefully this won’t be a lingering concern.

The whole team is a front for foreign espionage. This one comes via the owner himself. When Ted Leonsis isn’t meeting with fellow NBA owners, he’s reading farcical edits on his other team’s Wikipedia page. I’ll let the imaginative Wiki editor take it from here:

In October 2011, conspiracy theories began to arise stating that the reason for the high percentage of Russian players on the Capitals 2011/12 team was that the players were FSB-recruited spies. Questions were raised about [if] certain Russian-born players on the Capitals, such as Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, were talked into these acts in the summer of 2009 and about how the FSB controlled the system of player exchanges and fixed it for their agents to all be sent to the Capitals.

From there it gets a bit silly. With players skating down the Potomac and Slapshot dying in a standoff with DEA agents, it’s like a Capitals-themed episode of Archer. Of course, only two of the Caps players are Russian, which makes you wonder what the rest of the team is up to. As Archer himself once asked, does Canada even have a spy agency? And if so, why?

Eh, they’re going to be fine. Entirely possible. If the Caps get back to their winning ways, the talk of Ovi’s reduced scoring output, Green’s nagging injuries, and Wikipedia conspiracy theories should settle down. The Caps take on Winnipeg tonight, followed by an engagement in Toronto on Saturday. With a couple of wins, this recent skid will be nothing but a fading memory. But just to be safe, keep an eye on those sneaky Ruskies.