- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
- U.S., China race to finish line on ‘invisibility cloak’
- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
Defense falters in Caps’ loss to Predators
Question of the Day
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Defensive-zone coverage was one of the Capitals’ paramount changes last season as they turned into one of the more reliable teams in their own end of the rink.
Wednesday night was a clinic in what not to do in the defensive zone as the Caps lost to the Nashville Predators 4-1 at Bridgestone Arena. It’s the preseason, still, so the result isn’t as important as the process, but the process itself was lacking.
“They’re getting their goals from right in front of the net. It’s losing your man and not having your head on a swivel and leaving the zone too early,” a clearly upset Bruce Boudreau said. “It was a combination. It wasn’t the kids that were out there when all these goals were scored, either.”
Players were just as down about the defensive miscues, which were very visible on all three of the Predators‘ even-strength goals. Communication and other problems were cited as reasons.
“We should be able to. It should be a no-brainer,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “If you don’t have a guy, you have to look around and find that guy. There’s always going to be somebody around — if he’s in front of the net or he’s in the high slot. We should have known where our responsibilities were tonight.”
Midway through the second period it was the defensive duo of Mike Green and Jeff Schultz on when Matt Halischuk was left wide open in the slot. Tomas Vokoun, playing back in the arena where he developed into a starting goaltender, had no chance.
“The mistakes that we made, they capitalized on [them]. We took pride last year in protecting things in the defensive zone and that obviously still needs to be some work,” Green said. “You’ve got to give them some credit: They came out hard, and they made it very difficult for us.”
Later that period, Norris Trophy finalist Shea Weber skated in from the blue line to blast one past Neuvirth. Green and Schultz were in front, but the forward line of Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Joel Ward was, too, and a forward was likely responsibly for Weber.
“I think that’s more of an excuse, an escape, than reality. I don’t think that, quite frankly, those goals had really a lot to do with getting used to each other,” Boudreau said. “It’s just not going to the right position and not moving your feet at the right times and not pressuring when you’re supposed to be pressuring.”
The power play, which went 0-for-5, was another area of concern. As were periods of offensive malaise in which the Caps couldn’t generate much of anything around the net.
“Maybe guys that are used to scoring that haven’t scored in preseason are looking for the perfect play,” Boudreau said. “But that’s not the way you get goals: You get goals by going to the net and shooting pucks and eventually one goes in off your head or off your knee or something or you score a goal.”
The Caps managed one goal, as Mathieu Perreault finished off a two-on-one with Brooks Laich after a Predators defender fell down.
But there wasn’t much to be happy about for the Caps, who are now 1-3-1 in the preseason. They have just two exhibition games left, though, before it starts counting for real.
“It’s nothing to be too worried about, but it is something that we definitely need to work on,” Green said. “It’s not a big problem — it’s just the little things that we need to focus on and do better. And yeah, maybe we’re running out of time here, but we have still another week and a half to prepare, so we’ll be ready.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- Rush weighs in: Maybe Republicans dont dislike Obamacare
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- We told you so: Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Right-brain investing in a left-brain world. You can do it. I can help.
News and views on the Civil War.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow