The Washington Capitals enter this weekend's All-Star Break having earned points in five of their last six games. The one blemish came Wednesday night in a 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers. Much has been made of the Capitals' scoring woes this season as the normally high-octane offense has slowed down considerably. But now that the season is more than halfway over, looking at the Caps' shutout numbers is quite troubling.
Wednesday's loss was Washington's seventh shutout loss of the season (and second to Atlanta). Compare that to the fact that the Caps did not score only once in 82 regular season games last season and only three games the season before. Even more troubling is looking at this season compared to the rest under head coach Bruce Boudreau's tenure. Since being hired in November 2007, the Capitals entered this season with only eight shutout losses to Boudreau's name. With seven already this season, something is definitely wrong.
The Caps are averaging 2.71 goals per game this season, down from 3.82 last season. Also, the Capitals have scored 138 goals this season, which should not even challenge last year's 313. While the new defensive style has proven to be effective, it doesn't really work when the Caps can't score.