“It’s going to take months to perfect,” Brooks Laich said. “In the D-zone we want to be a lot more aggressive. Traditionally you want to have a defenseman in front of the net but he’s preaching for us to get out. Maybe a little more man-to-man . . . tighter defensively where it’s not just zone and offensively we really want to try to funnel pucks down below the net, go low to high. It’s not stuff that’s ground breaking or brand new but little things to focus on to try to help us.”
The Blues took a 2-1 lead 8:54 into the second period when a shot by Matt D’Agostini hit Vokoun’s arm and bounced out in front as a juicy rebound. Dennis Wideman didn’t tie up the stick of St. Louis center Patrik Berglund, who fed the puck behind the net to D’Agostini, who wrapped around the cage to shoot into the open net with Vokoun out of position.
Fans, players and new Capitals head coach Dale Hunter discuss Tuesday night’s 2-1 loss to St. Louis in Hunter’s coaching debut in Washington.
The Post Sports Live crew discusses what they'll miss most about former Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau and debate whether there is more pressure on the players as a result of the coaching change.
Washington came out with more offensive gumption in the third period, but still only mustered eight shots on goal in the frame and wasn’t able to put another shot past Halak.
It certainly wasn’t an ideal start to Hunter’s tenure as Washington’s coach, but as the players said there’s no doubt that their new director will make plenty sure to point out what he wants in the coming days of practice and games.
“I think Dale’s going to keep pounding the system into us,” Matt Hendricks said. “I think that’s what you’ll see tomorrow at practice. Keep working on the areas that we made mistakes in tonight and eventually we might get a few more power plays and a few more opportunities to score goals.”
General Manager George McPhee said via text Monday night that former NHL defenseman Jim Johnson would be joining Hunter’s staff. Johnson will work with the team’s defensemen and replaces Bob Woods, who was in his third year in Washington and had close ties to Boudreau. . . .
Prospect Mattias Sjogren, who has played 19 games with the Hershey Bears this year, has decided to return to Sweden because he believed he deserved more of an opportunity to play in the NHL rather than the AHL. “If you’re going to quit on us,” McPhee said, “you might as well go [back].”