VANCOUVER, OCT. 29 -- Coaches love shutouts, but Terry Murray never expected the goal the Washington Capitals scored in their 1-0 victory Sunday night in Edmonton would hold up.
He is concerned that his team can't get all of the parts working at the same time. The goaltending and defense are good one night, but on those nights it seems there is no offense. On other nights, there is scoring galore, but in those games, the Capitals have difficulty stopping people coming at their net.
The problem at the moment is scoring. "The screws still have to be tightened," Murray said.
Michal Pivonka scored the lone goal Sunday, but that was just his third of the season. Peter Bondra scored a late, inconsequential goal in the 9-4 loss in Calgary. But Sunday night, he was thrown out of the game for spearing the Oilers' Esa Tikkanen.
Bondra hit Tikkanen as he was pulling his stick free from an Oiler. With just two goals this season, Bondra is likely to sit out Tuesday's game against Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum.
Mike Ridley, Peter Zezel and Steve Leach are others Murray hopes will be providing more offensive production. Leach scored his first goal against Calgary. Leach, after being demoted to the fourth line in Calgary, was back with Ridley against Edmonton. He'll play on that line again Tuesday.
"I think the bottom line was that I wasn't shooting the puck enough," Leach said. "I was also coming up through the middle and things would get clogged. In turn, because of that, you get frustrated. I sat back and thought about it. I realized I have to stay wide and use my speed."Courtnall 'Wimped Out'
After today's practice at the Pacific Coliseum, a Vancouver reporter asked Murray about Geoff Courtnall's trade to St. Louis. Courtnall had asked to be traded after he was implicated by a young woman, who told police she was sexually assaulted by several players outside a Georgetown bar in May.
"Geoff Courtnall, he wimped out," Murray said. "That's the bottom line. He just bailed out on it."