BOSTON | Counting on Braden Holtby to be magnificent to win games this series against the Boston Bruins isn’t a fool-proof strategy. A little offense would really help the Washington Capitals.
“Both teams want to be a little better offensively,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “It’s nice when you can go 60 minutes without letting a team score, but you want to score goals.”
Obviously that’s not Alzner’s area of expertise, but with a roster of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and others, the Caps should be able to manufacture some goals.
“I think we go to get more shots and work their D a little bit more on the cycle,” Backstrom said. “Boston is a great team. You’re not going to get a lot of chances. But we got to make sure we do something good about our chances.”
That includes but is not limited to the power play, where the Caps were 0-for-2 with just two shots in Game 1.
“We’ve got to get pucks through more,” coach Dale Hunter said Friday. “We had traffic, but they’re blocking [shots], too.”
It’s a different kind of emphasis on offense for the Caps, who like to make opponents’ turnovers into odd-man rushes and scoring chances.
But those kinds of chances aren’t there with defensemen like Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk willing to hang back and clog up the neutral zone.
“It’s tight back there,” Backstrom said. “But hopefully they’ll do some mistakes and we’ll make sure we do something good about that.”
Without counting on the Bruins’ veteran defense breaking down and cashing in on the power play, the Caps need to find other avenues to lighting the lamp.
“You’ve got to create it from behind the goal line,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “We love to create off the rush, but their D are standing up, they have good gaps, so we’ve got to find ways to get pucks in, recover the pucks and cycle from behind the net and create offense from down low.”
Tips and traffic are part of it. But Caps know they need to do a better job of moving things around.
“We want to go out there and show them what we can do, cycle the puck better, we want to put a lot more pressure on than we did because it wasn’t enough,” Alzner said.