The series between the Washington Capitals continues tonight for game 3 in Tampa Bay. The Lightning however, with much amazement, are currently leading the series two games to none. Tonight’s game will be either a make or break for the Washington Capitals, possibly leaving them to be exiting the playoffs much earlier than anticipated by most.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are seeing their big names player put points on the board. Currently, Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier have a game winning goal each. Together, they combine for 3 goals, 2 assists and 12 shots. The Lightning supporting casts of Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell have contributed for 1 goal, 4 assists and 11 shots. Where do the Caps stand?
The big three, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Alexander Ovechkin only have a combined 2 goals and 1 assist. Skating the majority of minutes of the Capitals offense, the stats are well below what is to be expected of them. Focusing on defense, offensive defenseman Mike Green is a -2 rating.
With the saying, “Defense wins championships”, Head Coach Bruce Boudreau tweaked the offensive juggernaut in the regular season to focus more on defense and less on the run and gun style they use to play. Sure, the Capitals played close 1 goal difference games in the regular season, but the change was for the playoffs, for the now. In the first round the Capitals were capable of maintaining their defensive minded better back-checking play style to take out the New York Rangers in 5. In this series though, the team have resorted back to their offensive, defensive lacking, play.
The game tonight is expected to be a high flying, high intensity game, with the Capitals having their backs against the wall. If they wish to take out the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team needs to get back to their play that won them the first seed in the East. The person that needs to lead that charge is Alexander Ovechkin. If however Ovie is unable to tame his urge to take every shot, the team will follow and expect the series to go to 3-0 Lightning, with a possible sweep in sight.