“You ain’t so bad, you ain’t so bad, you ain’t nothin’.” – Rocky, to Clubber Lang
“I think we’ve got a lot of guys that can throw the body around, too. We’re not a team like them where we come out and always do that, but we do that when we need to — and we’re going to need to in this series.” – Karl Alzner, on how the Capitals match up against the big, bad Bruins (via the Washington Post)
OK, so the two quotes aren’t exact parallels. Washington definitely won’t want to get into a street fight with the B’s, but you can’t blame Alzner for rejecting the notion the Caps are about to get bullied into surrender. They’re still hockey players.
“For us we’ve got some guys, they can hold their own,” added Troy Brouwer. “We’ll push back. Don’t think we’re going to lay down by any means.”
A big key for the Caps will be the power play. Last year’s Stanley Cup finals might’ve ended differently if the Canucks had been able to score with the man advantage. Instead Vancouver went 2-for-33 and lost its best way to neutralize Boston’s intimidation tactics.
Washington’s power play finished the season 18th (16.7%) in the NHL, but there’s plenty of firepower on the Capitals to improve on that success rate.