Since the start of the season, every Three for Three has seen the Caps go 2-1 over that particular stretch of games. Then, in games 13-15, the Caps go 3-0 and are starting to resemble the team they hope to be on a consistent basis (you know, besides losing leads in the 3rd period). For this undefeated three game stretch, we took a look at Michal Neuvirth, Alexander Semin and Matt Bradley.
Neuvirth – Quite simply, can he keep up his Rookie of the Month performance?
Over the last three games, I dare say Neuvy has gotten tired. With a 3.31 GAA, .857 Save% and a 1-0-0 record, things certainly could have been better. Pulled after three quick third period goals against Boston, left to watch Holtby play against Philadelphia and finally getting back into a game against the Rangers, one is quickly forced to remember: this guy is still just a rookie. Sure, we’ve seen his face a Development Camps for years and Hershey fans know his play by heart, but this is the NHL. If anything, these last 3 games have shown the Caps that they realistically need two goaltenders to spread the load over the course of the season.
Semin – Is this the Alex Semin we’re going to see all season?
These last three games have seen Semin excel in the special teams department, with all three of his points coming with either a man up or a man down (his shorty against Boston was especially nice). Believe it or not, Alex Semin has arguably been the Caps most consistent, hard working superstar for not only the last three games, but for the season as a whole. If he can continue the trend of consistency (offensive output, hard work defensively and on the PK, actually backshecking) and avoid any injuries, Sasha could prove to be the better of the Alexes this season. Big if.
Bradley – Will we ever see 10 goal scorer Matt Bradley?
Playing around 10 minutes a night, Brads has only seen 15 seconds of power play time and less that 30 seconds of PK time in the last three games. His assist on last night’s game winner aside, Brads didn’t get himself on the score sheet these last 3 games (No PIMs Matt? No fights since game 2?). Bradley’s production this season is far more consistent with his 2008-2009 season than last season. With this Caps team focusing more on solid defense, it’s not a stretch to think these three games will be representative of Brads’ season as a whole.
For games 10-12, we’ll be taking a look at Brooks Laich, Mike Green and David Steckel.