Images of the high-powered offensive team fans became accustomed to seeing are an increasingly rare sight in Washington this season. The Caps were shut out once during the 2009-10 season and scored one goal on only two other occasions. To date in the 2010-11 campaign, they have been shut out eight times and scored one goal in seven of their games.
Statistically, that explains the precipitous drop in scoring from almost four goals a game in last season to less than three goals a game this season. Furthermore, Washington's power play has seen a dramatic falloff in production, going from a 25 percent success rate to 17 percent.
Caps' fans saw a glimpse of this stagnation during the seven-game series loss to the Montreal Canadiens during the 2010 playoffs. Some concluded the loss was merely a case of facing "hot" goalie Jaroslav Halak. But based on the results this season, it appears the Caps are facing a ton of "hot" netminders.
What's really wrong? I see two things that are keeping the Caps down.