Coming into the series, the Rangers main focus was to keep the Capitals high flying power play off the ice by not taking penalties. But now, after the Capitals gave the Blueshirts six power play opportunities in Game 3, it's the team from our Nation's Capital saying they need to stay out of the box (via Washington Post)...
“Our PK has been great for us as of late, but if you take that many penalties, they’re bound to get good looks, they’re bound to score, so we’ve got to continue to try and work hard without using our sticks. A lot of our penalties were unnecessary penalties away from our goal, which gives them an opportunity to try and score. We’ve got to clean up that aspect of our game, continue to work hard, continue to finish our checks, but do it without taking penalties.”
“We can’t take as many penalties. We’ve got to try and stay out of the box. That makes it way easier on ourselves and just stick to our system, stick to our game plan, and if we stay out of the game plan and keep rolling five-on-five, we’re going to be in good shape.”
The amount of penalties also messed with Capitals head coach Adam Oates' ability to get Alex Ovechkin in a rhythm as he doesn't play on the penalty kill.
Ovechkin still ended the game with over 22 minutes of ice time, but that was only because Oates double shifted him in the third period, after the Capitals captain was stuck on the bench for long stretches during the first two frames.
...i find it absolutely hysterical that the roles have reversed. Who would have thought midway through the series it would be the Capitals who need to focus on being more disciplined.
...i was all but convinced that the Capitals game plan for this series was to be as aggressive physically as possible because there was absolutely no threat of the Rangers hurting them on the man advantage. In fact they probably assumed taking penalties would benefit them as the Rangers power play usually kills momentum for themselves instead of creating it.
...amazing what a little power play success will do for a team's confidence and the opponent's mindset.
Just saw this quote from Ovechkin at todays practice “McDonagh is a good skater, but they don’t play a (very) physical game,” Ovechkin said. “So, it’s kind of nice to know when you go into the corner they’re not going to hit you."
You know Torts will use that as some serious motivation and I look forward to seeing the Rangers make him eat his words.