Nov 12, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Jared Boll (40) is congratulated by Columbus Blue Jackets center Michael Chaput (39) after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period at the Verizon Center The Capitals won 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Behind Enemy Lines: The Washington Capitals

In this recurring post, I ask some questions to a staff writer or editor of an opposing team’s FanSided Blog.  This week, I interviewed the editor of the Washington Capitals FanSided Blog, Stars and Sticks.

The Columbus Blue Jackets play the Washington Capitals at home tonight, and hope to continue the current 4 game win streak.

U&B: What has been the biggest strength of the Capitals so far?
Margaret: Without a doubt, the power play. Inconsistency has been a huge issue this season, but the power play has remained rock-solid. It’s been one of the league’s top units since the beginning of the season since other teams can’t seem to shut it down. When the Capitals’ offense at even strength is lacking, the power play has frequently bailed them out and helped them to victories.
U&B: Who should the Blue Jackets be wary of?
Margaret: The predictable answer is Alex Ovechkin, but with good reason. Besides being the best goal scorer in the league, he’s adapted his game. Teams once knew exactly what to expect from him–a one-timer from the left circle on the power play–but that’s no longer the case. Ovechkin has found other ways to score, and they’re just as effective.

Nov 12, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky (17) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals during the second period at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

U&B: Who do you see as the biggest threat TO the Capitals FROM the Blue Jackets?

Margaret: Brandon Dubinsky. In the two meetings between the Caps and Blue Jackets, he’s had a lot of good scoring chances. As both a potent goal scorer and playmaker logging plenty of minutes, the Caps will have a tough time containing him.
U&B: What is one area in which your team has struggled this season?
Margaret: Defense is the Capitals’ weakest area, due in part to the absence of veterans. While the defense as a whole needs to improve, so do the individual performances of players like Mike Green. Most of the mistakes the Caps make are in their own zone and could be easily fixable, since they’re largely mental errors. However, the blueliners aren’t the only players to blame–plenty of Caps forwards have failed to fulfill their basic defensive responsibilities.
U&B: What are your expectations for this game? 
Margaret: Even with Sergei Bobrovsky in net, the Caps scored four goals in each of their previous games against the Blue Jackets. I expect the scoring to continue, especially with Coach Adam Oates‘s changes to the lineup.
A huge thank you to Margaret Stuart for answering my questions! You can follow him on twitter here. Be sure to check out our Game Day Posts and follow along on Twitter during the game. Come back soon for another edition of “Behind Enemy Lines!”

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