Caps Win, but Holes Need Filled

A Caps 5-4, overtime victory, their 14th straight, televised on national TV on Super Bowl Sunday against the Penguins exposed holes the Caps must fill to contend for the Cup.

With the March 3 trade deadline approaching quickly, the Caps need to shore up glaring weaknesses exposed by the Penguins on Sunday-goaltending and defense.

There were murmurs of a Semin for Kovalchuk trade before the Russian sniper was moved to the Devils last week by the Atlanta Thrashers, but adding offense to the best offensive team in the league doesn’t make sense

If the Caps want to sip Champaign from Lord Stanley they will need a solid backup netminder who is capable of taking the reigns in case Theo collapses in the playoffs like he did last year.  Theodore can catch fire and appears unstoppable when he does, but he is inconsistent at inopportune times. 

 The Capitals other goalies, Semyon Varlamov and Michael Nuevirth are the netminders of the future for DC, but Varly has been injured since early December and when he returns will have questions of durability surrounding him.  Nuevirth has been good, even great at times, in-goal since filling in for Varly, but will be reassigned to Hersehy once Varly returns.  Goaltending wins championships and a solid netminder acquisition at the deadline would help solidify the crease for Washington.

Defense is the other major concern for the Caps.  Mike Green is the top offensive D-man in the league, and while he has improved his defensive game this year he is still a liability in his own end at times.  A big, stay-at-home defenseman would go a long way in improving the Caps chances come Spring.  Scott Neidermayer, from the Anaheim Ducks, would be ideal.

During the offseason the Caps added Mike Knuble and effectively addressed the problem of having a big body who will drive to the net night after night (sorry, Brooks Laich),  now they’re just one or two pieces away from being the runaway favorites to win the Cup.


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