The Washington Capitals’ were at the centre of another loss on Saturday against the Dallas Stars. Giveaways galore from pretty well everyone, including Holtby, resulted in a 4-3 win for the Stars. They can’t expect the offence to score 5 goals every night, but it sure looks like it’s going to be the only way to win games before Holtby gets his head straight. Last season the Capitals had the luxury of going to Philipp Grubauer when Holtby wasn’t feeling it.
Grubauer filled in and played like one of the best backups in the league. He gave Holtby a bit of time to clear his head, while Grubauer kept things together for the Capitals. They don’t have Grubauer to hop in and do that this season. He’s the backup in Colorado to provide the Avalanche with a pretty nice goaltending duo. That’s gone in Washington, which was a nice fallback that a lot took for granted.
Instead, the Caps have seldom used Pheonix Copley as the backup. Before jumping up to the NHL from the AHL, the 26-year-old had previously seen action in only two games. As a member of the Hershey Bears last season, Copley posted a 2.91 GAA 0.896 save percentage. He’s seen the crease in three games this season and it’s gotten worse for Copley, who has a 3.55 GAA and 0.882 save percentage in the NHL.
If I were the Capitals, I’d be on the phone with the Devils and inquiring about the status of Keith Kinkaid. If not Kinkaid, there has to be a better option than Copley out there to backup Holtby, who was savior for the Caps in the playoffs a season ago, but is prone to going through droughts. As it is now, they just have to hope that Holtby finds a rhythm soon. The Oilers will look to win three in a row Monday night, while the Caps are looking to end a three-game skid. Get our free Oilers vs. Capitals pick below.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Washington Capitals Pick
Before the Capitals start looking like a Stanley Cup contender again, they’re going to have to get their defence straight. Holtby needs to get better, along with the entire blueline. Brooks Orpik may be back tonight with the demotion of Aaron Ness. If he just takes the pre-skate it wouldn’t surprise me, though. It’s almost a certainty he will be back Wednesday.
They need all the help they can get right now, but Madison Bowey can’t be blamed against the Stars loss. The Capitals have allowed 10 goals in their last two games, with an average of 4.1 goals in their last seven. Overall, they’re 28th in the NHL with 3.83 goals allowed per game. Holtby owns a rather poor GAA of 3.62 and 0.88 save percentage.
Edmonton have been looking sharp with 8 goals in their last two games, with wins of 4-0 and 4-3. With Connor McDavid, the Oilers shouldn’t be struggling to find offence, like was the case for much of last season. They have been doing a better job with 3.08 goals per game overall.
The OVER has gone 6-1 in the Capitals’ previous seven games for good reason. Dallas put up 4 goals in a 4-3 win on Saturday without too much effort. The Capitals handed it to them pretty easily with sloppy and careless play in their own zone. That’s been the case for the majority of the season. Until they find some continuity defensively and in net, the OVER in Capitals games is always a nice option.