Hello again, Scarlet Caps!
I can't believe it's already April, and another Caps playoff hockey season is upon us! I know this is the time of year that we all have been waiting for, and despite a few bumps along the way, it's been a heck of a season for the Caps! As a team, they accomplished another 100 plus point season, clinched over 50 wins, and had the most wins ever on home ice. Career years were turned in from players like T.J. Oshie, Marcus Johansson, Brett Connolly, Daniel Winnik, and Jay Beagle. Braden Holtby became just the 3rd goaltender in NHL history to record at least 40 wins in three consecutive seasons. And now, the Caps are now preparing for a deep run in the postseason starting next week.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, the Caps still have four games left on their schedule, including two back to back sets vs. the Leafs and Rangers, and then against the Bruins and Panthers to close out the season. Right now, the Caps have the lead in the Metro after a huge win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. And this season more than ever, the remaining games down the stretch are important ones. Not only because of the fight for metro supremacy and the President's Trophy, but also because teams want to be playing their best hockey at the season's end. This is not the time of season to take your foot off the gas.
Often times you will hear coaches throughout the season talk about "buckling down" and "playing the right way." But what does "playing the right way" mean? Simply put: it means to play the right way to win a hockey game. It means that teams want to put themselves in the best possible position to have success and get their game in order before post-season play. It means perfect execution and understanding in all three zones and in all situations.
It also means having no cheat in your game, and playing on every inch of the ice. Coaches call this playing a 200 foot game. This means that when the puck is in the offensive zone, a forward can't be leaving the zone too early, thinking about a possible breakaway or only offense. It's about supporting the play, and always being on the right side of the puck and not above the puck. Playing the right way means playing team defense first, which ultimately leads to good team offense. And it also means defending in a way where you're always in a good defensive position, even if you don't have the puck. It means battling for loose pucks, getting pucks deep into the opponent's zone at the right time, and playing a north /south game.
This is playing the winning way. This is playing the right way. And this way helps to establish a platform to have success for the Caps' final mission, so that come puck drop time for game one, players just play.
Looking forward to seeing you all ROCKIN' THE RED!!!!