Are Caps allowing too many shots to win?

Are Caps allowing too many shots to win?
April 6, 2014, 5:45 pm
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The Capitals were outshot 38-29 in their 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders Saturday night.

That should come as no surprise to Caps fans who are seeing their team allow more shots per game [33.6] than all but three teams in the NHL this season.

The Caps have been outshot in 54 of their 78 games this season. On average, the Caps have been outshot 33.5 to 29.9.

“I think that really stems from blocking shots,” Caps defenseman Mike Green said. “I think we need to be more committed, including myself, in helping out our goaltenders.

“That can be the difference in the game. I think guys are committed to it, but I think we can be a lot more determined to block them. We’ve talked about it and that’s what we’re going to do.”

With four games remaining in their season, the Caps rank 15th in the NHL with 1,132 blocked shots. Defenseman John Carlson leads the Caps with 172 blocks, followed by Karl Alzner [144], Green [107] and John Erskine [66]. Joel Ward leads all Caps forwards with 63 blocks.

[RELATED: Do Caps need more gutsy wins?]

Capitals goalie Jaroslav Halak says he’s had to adjust to seeing more shots in Washington than he saw against the shot-blocking St. Louis Blues.

“It helps you get in the game better,” Halak said.

Capitals left wing Dustin Penner, who arrived in D.C. at the NHL trade deadline last month, said this is the time of year teams abandon their offensive approach and concentrate on being airtight defensively.

Statistics show the Capitals are not built to play that style of hockey. They are 0-25-6 when scoring two or fewer goals this season.

“Obviously, this team is very potent offensively and to win games at this time of year you’ve got to dilute that potency in order to keep pucks out of your net,” Penner said.

“It might mean a boring first period for the players and for the fans, but you have to think, ‘First shift, we can’t get scored on.’ We have a game plan, it’s the application of it that gets away from us.

“We have the talent to score goals. But there are teams in this league whose whole goal is to keep us below two goals.”