On Monday, it was Mike Knuble who said that it will be the goals acquired from crashing the net that help the Washington Capitals' offense get back on track. In the past 24 hours, the player sounding the alert to go to the front of the net has been Alex Ovechkin, even though the Capitals' star left wing doesn't always have the fundamental instinct to score in that manner.
"Sometimes you just think maybe there's going to be a rebound, and I'm going to stay outside of the net because I don't want to go there, be in that position where I'm going to have hit in the neck or elbow in the face," Ovechkin said after practice today at Wells Fargo Center. "You think the puck is going to bounce right to your stick. It happens sometimes, but most of the time you have to go there and fight for that puck."
The Capitals aren't running away with anything, whether the division, conference, point accumulation or goal scoring races like they did last year, but if the offense were to get back on track to go along with what's been strong overall defensive play, Washington remains in a good position to move up in the conference standings.
There has been much said about what the Capitals must do to jumpstart their offense and eliminate the starts that have spotted opponents a goal or two in the first period, but they must find a way to have all the talk manifest itself in on-ice results.
"I think in locker room or in practice you think, 'OK, we're going to do it,' then right away in the game something happens," Ovechkin said. "For us right now, most important thing, we talk, we have to do this, crash the net, right away. The first couple minutes of the game we have to go over there, find rebound and even if we don't score we just have to go there."
--Ted Leonsis attended the game in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, braving the stands at Wells Fargo Center to watch the contest. There wasn't too much trash talk from the Flyers fans, though, according to his account of the night on Ted's Take.