Another day, another “we really gotta knock it off with the turnovers” game from the Washington Capitals.
That day was yesterday, and the Caps lost 4-2 to Tampa Bay on it.
“When we get up (the ice), we get fancy,” defenseman Karl Alzner said, as per the Washington Post. “And we think, ‘Oh, we’re going to score another couple goals and we’re not going to let any in.’ We make backhand passes through the middle of the ice. …For example, we chip the puck in the middle of the ice to try to get to our centers instead of chipping it along the wall and skating into it, which all the other good teams do to us. We get very, very soft with the puck.”
Coach Dale Hunter added: “We’ve got to get in deep and don’t turn the puck over.”
Turnovers have been a problem in Washington for years. When a team runs and guns, it’s going to have more turnovers than others. Think Steve Nash and Jeremy Lin in basketball. Just one problem with that theory now: the Caps don’t run and gun anymore – they’re 14th in goals per game (2.6), a far cry from 2009-10 when they led the NHL (3.82).
Furthermore, laziness is never an excuse for poor puck management, regardless of the style of play.
“On the first goal we had two turnovers and a penalty and then the second goal was another turnover right away after that,” said Troy Brouwer. “We’ve got to eliminate these turnovers, these useless turnovers that are just in terrible areas of the ice because they’re killing us.”