Going into Saturday’s game against Boston, the Capitals were in an interesting situation–they’d won, in overtime, against a division rival, but their penalty kill unit had let in two goals. In fact, the unit had looked anything but aggressive–a characteristic that usually worked well for the Capitals with the man down.
But what started out as an Achilles’ heel this weekend was rectified in 48 hours. In the Capitals’ two following wins against Boston and Toronto, they killed off all three of their opponents’ power plays and even managed a shorthand goal.
“[Being aggressive on the PK] was pretty much the entire conversation,” Karl Alzner said of what the Capitals’ conversation was after the loss to Tampa. “We said, ‘Look back on when we were successful, and it was ’cause guys didn’t have a chance to make a play.'”
It’s nice to see the Capitals be able to correct and adjust that kind of mistake quickly instead of going through a painful multi-game learning process. Brooks Laich, in fact, told reporters after the game that he thinks the team is beginning to find its identity and be comfortable with the systems.
“We’re starting to elevate our game,” he said, and elaborated on what he’s liked about their game a few moments later: “I call it a solid game. We’re not taking undisciplined penalties, we’re not turning the puck over. There’s no two-on-ones, three-on-twos against.”
Overall, what should Caps fans take away from the two wins this weekend? Check out the video below.