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Caps making adjustments to Rangers’ collapsing ways

May 7, 2012, 2:04 PM EDT

Matt Hendricks Getty Images

If you haven’t noticed, there’ve been a lot of blocked shots in the playoffs. Many of them in the Capitals-Rangers series.

The increasing tendency for all five defenders to collapse around the goalie has forced coaches to make adjustments on offense.

As the Washington Times reports, one of the ways the Capitals have responded is by working the puck down low and getting the cycle going.

“We wanted to make sure that if we had the chance, we get it to the net. But when we didn’t, we had to get it behind the net and start a cycle and get the puck to the net,” forward Keith Aucoin said. “It’s tough. You want the puck in front of the net; you want clear shots. But we’ve been playing pretty good as a team cycling as a team and we’re getting used to it. I thought we did a pretty good job [Saturday] when we got the puck behind the net. We’ve got to continue to cycle and wear them down.”

On a side note, if collapsing around the goalie is the new way to play defense, you have to wonder if we’ll see an even bigger premium placed on power forwards that can take the puck down low and just barge their way to the net. It’s not pretty to watch, but repeatedly firing away from the perimeter isn’t a winning strategy against good shot-blocking teams.

  1. jaybyrd99 - May 7, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    we’ll see how this plays out but the last few articles here have pointed out how the caps”have figured out lundqvist”, “are adjusting to the rangers collapsing” and “comparing backstrom to forsberg”. the rangers should just pack it in . oh-that’s why they play the games…..

    • blockedshotnyr - May 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      Felt the exact same way – the way these last few posts have read – you would think it is 3-1 Caps or 4-0 Caps.

      I guess we’ll see… I think Hank steals one tonight personally.

    • rg3isvictory - May 7, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      Isn’t this how it always goes? Whom ever wins the next game will have all the answers and momentum! This is the problem with 24/7 news, when there isn’t a story, they need to create one!!! You can thank CNN and the more is better ‘Americana Way’!

      • hawksandsawx - May 7, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        Guys relax, the 24 hour news cycle persists because people like you wanna take time out of their day to read and discuss about hockey. You don’t like the stories don’t read them and go back to work. Otherwise enjoy the consolidated information for every team and keep making bad jokes and clearly biased posts like the rest of us

  2. stakex - May 7, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Don’t worry… after the Rangers win the next two games there will be all sorts of storys about Ovechkin and Backstrome being no shows, Lundquist being unbeatable, and the Caps doing yet another el foldo in the playoffs. Funny thing is, those articles will be writen by the same people who are saying the complete opposit right now…. and everyone will forget todays stories by then.

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