The argument for shot blocking is an obvious one. If a player gets in front of the puck, it’s not going to go into the net. But what happens when they fail in their attempt?
Take a look at Marc Staal’s game-winning goal. In particular, pay attention to all the players, Capitals and Rangers alike, that stood between Staal and Washington goaltender Braden Holtby as Staal shot the puck.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
“I didn’t see a thing,” Holtby said in regards to the game-winning goal.
Holtby also stated, “That’s what happens when we play a style where we block a lot shots. Sometimes those go in.”
This isn’t to say that the Capitals are wrong to be aggressive when it comes to blocking shots. They stopped 25 shots from ever reaching Holtby on Monday and the outcome of this game could have been a lot worse if they simply let Holtby handle everything.
Still, it’s a strategy that does sometimes backfire and it seemed to this time.