There’s an old adage referred to by defensive minded teams that says “If the other team can’t score, you can’t lose.” After watching last night’s thrilling but disappointing triple OT loss to the Rangers, I’m wondering if the Caps haven’t taken that advice too close to the heart. This game could have gone either way because of all the crazy bounces, hit posts, and missed opportunities, but if you value percentage analysis, it’s no surprise the Rangers won. I would normally favor a team that plays hard defense and has a semblance of an offensive game plan and in this game, the Rangers attacked with their forecheck and the Caps did not. Washington repeatedly sent in only one forward, didn’t cycle the puck in the corners, and repeatedly lost the battles on the offensive boards. The Rangers pounded the Caps D all night, as they had done in game two, but this time came away with the win.
The team that has the balanced approach should win and the Rangers played a perfect road game with balance. Yet it was still close and I’m not saying the series is in doubt but the Caps need an adjustment away from their defense-only style. The top two lines need to get agressive and hold serve on Saturday and then hope the Garden is as friendly as the rest of the road rinks have been this post season.