The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir joined Monday’s The Brian Mitchell Show on the Team 980/95.9 FM to discuss why the Capitals have been, to an extent, out of sync.
He first sheds light on the Caps goaltending play. Braden Holtby, who has started the most games in goal this season, has been in and out of the lineup recently due to inconsistency. However, he was the lone bright spot in Saturday’s loss to the Coyotes.
“If you’re going to win a championship or go deep in the playoffs, you’ve got to have a number one goaltender playing at the top of his game, and for a lot of the season, Braden Holtby has not been that,” Tarik stated. “He has been [at the top of his game] the last two-plus games, and that’s something the Capitals hope that they can continue to see happen with regularity because he’s a huge part of this team.”
In a couple of their losses, El-Bashir credits poor ‘puck management’ as part of the reason. He also deems that Alex Ovechkin’s quest for 700 goals has also been sort of a “distraction” to the team.
“It’s starting to weigh on him [Ovechkin] and others a little bit. Once he gets there, I think you’ll see this team free up a little bit and maybe string together some wins.”
The Capitals conclude their three-game road trip out west when they take on the Vegas Golden Knights tonight at 6:00 p.m.