While this season's Washington Capitals team does not look destined for a run at another Presidents' Trophy, that does not mean it is time to panic. While they will return home after losing two out of three games on their Canadian road trip, that does not mean it is time to panic. While the injuries seem to continue mounting, that does not mean it is time to panic.
Why? Because it is an 82-game season and the Caps have played just 12 of them.
Of course the team would have liked to get off to a better start than just 5-6-1, but this is still a team very much in transition. The makeup of the roster is very different than in recent years meaning the team has to adjust how it plays. That was a realization the players talked about while in Canada. It was also fully on display Sunday in Calgary when the Caps failed again and again to cleanly enter Calgary's defensive zone to put on consistent offensive pressure.
Let's also not discount the injuries.
Whenever we talk about injuries in sports, everyone is quick to throw up their hands and say, "I'm not making excuses." Let's be real for a second. The Caps are currently dealing with injuries to Matt Niskanen, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly and Tyler Graovac. They also lost Nicklas Backstrom to one game when he was sick. You may not want to use that as an excuse, but it would be naive to think injuries to so many different players does not effect the team's play.
There's no denying the team needs to play better than it has if they hope to make the playoffs, but the outcome of this season will ultimately not be dictated by 12 games played in October.
Though one month of the season, there are a lot of surprises, both good and bad, across the NHL. See where all the team's land in this week's NHL Power Rankings.