Lorenzo Alexander has done a lot of tweeting about the Caps during the playoffs and has been one of their biggest supporters. In a new online radio show that Alexander is doing with Kedric Golston, he gets into why he’s become such a Caps fan.
On discovering hockey:
Lorenzo: Growing up, being from the Bay area, Oakland, brothers and hockey don’t mix. We had the Sharks, we had the Kings, but I had no clue of what hockey was until I got here and was able to be around the Washington Capitals guys like Ovi, Alexander Semin, and watching these guys play.
Kedric: You can’t really judge hockey until you’ve been to a game. The speed, how big and how strong…just the speed of the game. It’s just amazing.
Lorenzo: I was out there watching [Game 2] and I got up and actually ran around the whole BW3’s out there in Sterling giving everybody high fives after my man Knuble put that first goal in.
Kedric: Watching the game, what I saw was, I saw him get hit in the mouth. They were going after him. But the Caps responded. And they kept their composure and they started punching back. And that’s something in the past that you couldn’t say about the Caps. Sometimes they got dominated physically. Now you can see they’re starting to dominate teams physically.
You definitely got to support the Caps if you’re in D.C. Like you said, none of us grew up watching hockey but you gotta respect it because of the skill that’s out there.
On Holtby and the Caps physicality:
Lorenzo: We can’t forget about my man Holtby, man. He’s been balling. I actually enjoy the way he’s been standing on his head right now.
The Capitals have been playing good, obviously they’ve won some games. But I think at some points in the game, especially when they’re up, the defense gets kind of, has lulls in it. I mean, last night the Rangers might have had three or four breakaways, but Holtby was shutting them down, big time. Really frustrating them, not really giving them any room to score any goals. That game could have easily been 6-3 in my mind, you know, watching it. And then once they get up, the Rangers score and make it even, then they go back to being physical. Then comes Knuble, Alzner, Carlson, here they come getting physical again. I just wish they could maintain that the whole game.
Kedric: We’re not the old Caps where we’re going to score five or six goals and give up three. Now these games are 2-1, 2-3 and the last series, pretty much every game was overtime. So, Caps, don’t make it any harder than you have to, you know what I’m saying? Go one and bring us back home the Cup.
On Ovi getting less time on ice:
Lorenzo: I think it’s awesome. Any time your star player is willing to take a back seat, some of it’s strategy, you know. Dale Hunter is trying to match him up against defensemen that are not as good as Girardi, you know, their starting defensemen. Especially like in Boston when you had guys like Chara and Lucic chasing him. He’s trying to play a chess match to figure it out. But you can see that Ovi has kind of bought into the system. He’s not doing the sad face. He’s laying cats out when he’s on the ice.
You got Alexander Semin out there laying in front of pucks. I mean, when was the last time you’ve seen a guy like that do that? Granted, sometimes he’ll go off and have some bad penalties, but he’s playing some real good hockey right now. Really throwing his body around, getting active.
On what happens if the Caps don’t advance past Round 2:
Lorenzo: It’s a little bit different though. I mean, you get your coach fired during the middle of the season, you get a new coach…
Kedric: We were big fans of Bruce Boudreau, by the way…
Lorenzo: Oh, I loved him. But now you got to get used to another coach. In our perspective, the difference between Gibbs to Zorn, Zorn to Shanahan, those are huge different personalities and understanding what each coach expects of you as a player in your role. It took time for them to figure out what Dale Hunter was all about, what’s his strategy, what did he want each player’s role to be. Towards the end of the season, like a lot of great teams do, they got on that hot streak and now they’re playing their best hockey. I don’t know if it would be a let down. You know, they did beat Boston, the defending champions, now they’re playing the New York Rangers who are also a great team, so it’s kind of hard to say it would be a let down.
Kedric: Continuity is the key to pretty much what it is to winning a championship, no matter what organization you’re in.
Lorenzo: Exactly. I think that’s probably been one of our downfalls as Redskins players. I mean we’ve had three head coaches, what, three defensive coordinators, in seven years.
Kedric: Seven years. This is the first time we’ve had the same coach, same coordinator for three years in a row. That’s why I think it’s going to be a big year for the Redskins. Not because we drafted RGIII, but because that continuity is there.
Lorenzo: Guys know what’s expected of them. They know the scheme. I know for myself, you know, playing outside now just moving to inside linebacker, just being around and hearing it all the time. I already know how to make calls, watching Fletcher all the time, it just comes natural and I think that’s what the Caps are going to experience if they do get knocked out. I hope they don’t get knocked out and I’ll be there Wednesday night as well, rocking the red sitting down there front row and screaming, but they’ll have that next year to say ok, this is what Dale Hunter expects from us, this is what we need to do to win these games. And then you got Holtby, who kinda came out of nowhere, being your goaltender and playing at a high level, who may eventually work his way into maybe being considered one of those top five goaltenders in the league.
Kedric: I know in the past, the Caps have said they’ve lost series’ because they’ve come up against a hot goalie. I think now, Holtby’s that hot goalie. Just listening to what people are saying, and no one wants to say it but I feel as though, not knowing nearly as much as other people do about hockey, Holtby’s the hot goalie right now.
Final advice for the Caps:
Kedric: My advice to the Caps would be, focus defensively. The goals will come, but if [the Rangers] don’t score they can’t win.
Lorenzo: I say the same thing. Play physical, start early, go around hitting cats on the ice, making ’em pay, you know, getting it down in the zone and really mucking it up and really playing that dirty ball, getting in front of the goalie and making it hard for him. But yeah, defense, defense, defense.