Monday, December 01, 2014

Caps 5-on-5 Play is Pathetic

Power plays are much rarer in the playoffs versus the regular season so strong 5-on-5 play is a prerequisite to playoff success in today's NHL. The Caps 5-on-5 play is pathetic even in the Coach Barry Trotz era. He is working on this by directing his team to shoot pucks at the net and get dirty in front of the net for deflections because those opportunities turn into 5-on-5 goals. And, those types of goals win playoff games, not perimeter shots. This is an area where the Caps have struggled throughout the Alex Ovechkin era. They've never had enough players willing to sacrifice their body in front of the net night after night. Trotz knows this is a huge problem for this team.

Does Trotz have the players he needs to make a difference in this area? Right now, his second line center is a 19-year old rookie that's hitting a typical wall. Andre Burakovsky is going to be a very good hockey player, but he's learning the NHL game and the center position. Evgeny Kuznetsov is improving and starting to contribute more ,but he's learning the North American game and that adjustment takes time. Tom Wilson is quickly turning into a fan favorite, but he's got to realize he's more useful out of the box. Although it's great that he's willing to stick up for his teammates, he needs to contribute on offense and develop chemistry with Ovie and Nicklas Backstrom. Wilson will probably turn out to be the grittiest of the young guys, but none of them are old enough to realize how much they have to sacrifice to win the shiny silver Cup.

Read more here.

Let's go Caps!

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