Now or never, win or go home, do or die, backs against the wall — all the good cliches are going to be flying around today. It is pretty simple for the Caps — either solve Henrik Lundqvist and score more goals or spend a long offseason wondering what if and how did that just happen.
“I think you’re going to see everything thrown at him. Anything we can do – pucks are going to be coming from everywhere, bodies are going to be coming.”
Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom have combined for 14 points in this series — and the rest of the team has nine. The only guys on this team that have met expectations with their offenisve contributions are Semin, Backstrom, John Erskine and Brian Pothier, and it is tough to not include Ovechkin given his overall effort and the fact that he still has been in on 62.5 percent of the team’s goals.
Mike Green is one of the guys the Caps need more from.
“It seems like everybody hasn’t done as much as they possibly could,” he said. It is time to step up and get the job done. That is my role.”
The Caps have recieved very little offensively from the rest of the lineup.
“I definitely want to contribute,” said Eric Fehr, who has no points and is averaging less than nine minutes per game. “I’m definitely not happy with the way things have gone for myself this series. I think I’m just going to go out there and battle as hard as I can and try to win the puck battles every single time I have a chance. When I get it, just take to the net as hard as possible. That’s got to the game plan today – everything you do, do it with a distinct purpose.”
Added Boyd Gordon: “Yeah, in general if we chip in a goal it can be a huge difference-maker. It is important. It isn’t easy to score 5-on-5 in the playoffs, but we’ve got to find a way to do it. That’s just the way it is. That’s the position we’re in, so we’ve got to find a way.”
Still, Boudreau doesn’t see it that way.
“It is a low-scoring series,” he said. “If you’re only going to score two goals a game, you’re usually going to get that a) from your power play and b) from your top six forwards. We’d love it to happen, but I don’t think it is out of the ordinary and surprising that it has happened.”
Boudreau also doesn’t think that Green has changed the way he plays in this series. Green has zero goals and two assists, but he has had trouble getting shots to the net and hasn’t had the same general impact he typically does.
“I don’t think he’s changed his style,” Boudreau said. “I just don’t think he’s had any success at what he’s doing. They haven’t allowed us. Like I said, it is a low-scoring series. We’ve won a lot of games 5-3 and 4-3 this year where you have that opportunity. Right now we have to win games 2-1, so Mike Green isn’t going to be the one that is jumping into the play and doing all those things.”
Green did not have the same assessment.
“I’ve strayed a little bit from my game trying to play too conservative,” Green said. “That’s not my game. We’ve been successful all year playing the way we do and whether or not we’re a risky team or as individuals. When you play aggressive, good things happen. Even if something happens [negatively], you have good luck because you’re always in control of the game. When you’re sitting back, you’re not in control.”