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05-14-2012, 12:50 AM
  #63
NobodyBeatsTheWiz
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Without reading the thread before posting this, I have a feeling I know what I'm going to read. Something to the effect of: "Yes, they're finally playing the right way and everyone is buying in." Not true.

Systematically, they're no better than where they were 2 years ago. They did some good things this year--kept shots to the outside, blocked shots. But their execution of other things was appalling. They couldn't pass, squandered countless odd-man rush opportunities, had trouble consistently getting scoring chances and/or shots on net, couldn't establish a good forecheck, had tons of trouble breaking up the cycle in the defensive zone, and struggled with breakouts when under pressure.

Just because a system, or team has a defensive bent doesn't mean it's the 'right way' to play. Playing the 'right way' means working hard, sacrificing yourself for the team on the ice, and, most importantly, executing the system in all three zones. The Caps' work ethic was uneven, and their execution was incredibly inconsistent.

As far as the personnel aspect, on defense and in the bottom six, the Caps are significantly better off now than they were two years ago. In the top-6, it all hinges on Ovechkin. If he can regain much of his form, they're potentially better off. If not, they're worse off than they were without some significant adjustments/additions.

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