The Washington Capitals will look to rebound from a rather poor performance in their opening season loss to Tamp Bay. Caps clearly struggled a bit, especially on defense, playing in the new Adam Oates system. Tonight is Game Two of 48 and the Caps will host the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg has opened their season at 0-2.
Here are some Game Previews: We will kick it off with our Bloguin Partner, Rock the Red
Caps know they have work to do to fully grasp and become comfort bale within Oates' system. Eyes will turn to team captain Alexander Ovechkin. As they work to grasp the system, Ovechkin will need to step up as the dynamic scorer that he can be. Ovechkin knows that as well. His line will be absolutely critical to the Caps success, especially early on.
As Washington readied for its home opener at Verizon Center on Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets, Ovechkin said he expects more out of himself and his linemates.
With “our system and our skill level, we have to play better. We have lots of time [on] iceand we have to play better,” Ovechkin said, brushing off any suggestion that the lack of production was because of Tampa Bay.
“We make some stupid plays out there sometimes in neutral zone and offensive zone,” Ovechkin added. “If you watch the whole game, we have only a couple rushes and we never stop in their zone. We never play [in] their zone. It’s blame on us.”
One thing that Ovechkin does have is the full confidence of Oates.
"[Ovechkin is] an upper-echelon player. I think he'll figure that stuff out. I think there's times he'll be stuck," Oates said. "There'll be times Nick will be stuck because he's used to seeing him come from a different direction. But the goal is to get him more touches and to get Ovi more situations. A lot of times when I watched that tape before, he wasn't even on the right side when Nicky went through the middle. Maybe it's a good luxury that we haven't figured it out yet, but they're getting the puck there."
After giving up six goals in the season opener, goalie Braden Holtby knows he needs to work on the "little things".
“There are some things that I wanted to work on, but overall there wasn’t any patterns or whatnot that I needed to work on,” Holtby said. “It’s just little things.” You just got try and play through it. It’s a hard thing to do,” Holtby said. “One of those things that you’re gonna work hard in practice, try and find sight lines the best you can.”