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After 0-2 start, Caps’ Alzner says he feels “like a fish out of water”

Jan 23, 2013, 11:53 AM EDT

Oates Capitals

Washington’s poor regular season start — zero wins, two losses, 10 goals allowed — has defenseman Karl Alzner feeling out of his element.

“I almost feel like a fish out of water right now,” Alzner told CSN Washington. “I’m too busy trying to be in the right position mentally instead of just being there. I know where to be. I’m over-thinking it.

“I think a lot of guys are probably in the same boat.”

That these words are coming from Alzner says a lot. He’s been relatively error-free through his first two games, posting an even plus-minus rating and committing zero giveaways while averaging over 21 minutes a night.

(A far cry from, say, Marcus Johansson, who has a minus-3 rating through two games and leads the team with three giveaways.)

To be fair, the Caps are in the midst of a big undertaking. They’re switching their style of play to head coach Adam Oates’ preferred style — where the emphasis is on skating, pressure and forcing turnovers — but haven’t had much time to learn it.

A brief training camp and two regular season games seemingly haven’t given Washington enough time to adjust to the new style.

“When you get tired your decision making goes — that’s the first thing,” winger Troy Brouwer explained. “Your brain starts to get lazy and then everything else follows. We’re having a tough time with just being crisp, being sharp.

“Whether that’s just practice, whether that’s out of practice, whether that’s just us not paying attention to details, we gotta crack that and we gotta crack it fast.”

  1. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    The Washington Capitals and the Titanic: both looked great until they hit the ice.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      Damn you thats funny. Only comeback Caps fans may have is the hope your a Flyers fan haha…

  2. steelers88 - Jan 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Im pretty sure talking about the Flyers!

    • barkar942 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Or the Rangers so far! LOL!
      Great line, leeeroooyjeeenkiiins!

  3. Stiller43 - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Well, under hunter, they only would have lost probably 2-1 each of the first two games…so…

    • dcfan4life - Jan 23, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      I dunno, I thought defense would dominate the early part of the season, with rusty players and a lack of chemistry. But so far its defense thats suffered, and offense has done rather well this season so far.

  4. bethgoesglobal - Jan 23, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Defense is a Major Issue right now. In interviews the players seem to continually say that Oates is a very vocal and involved coach which is all well and good. However, Calle Johansson is the defensive coach, is he not? I’m not sure I’ve heard Anything about him.
    So what kind of correlation do you think there is between those two points???

    • Ross Hollebon - Jan 23, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      The guys won’t be able to learn this overnight. It may be the halfway point before they stop thinking about what they are supposed to be doing and just naturally do it. I think Calle is probably doing okay, but this is the third system in basically one year, so there will be some growing pains, especially with no preseason or a real training camp.

      This year may not go so well, but this was a move that I will expect to help the Caps in the long run.

      Joe Gibbs started 0-5 with the Redskins in 1981 and that was with a training camp. :)

  5. steelers88 - Jan 23, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    I have to say though it is tough to be a new head coach in the NHL in a 82 game season it is a lot tougher in a 48 game season.

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