Oates: You've gotta show up for work
Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the 0-3 Capitals pursue their first win of the season tonight in New Jersey against the 2-0 Devils at Prudential Center:
Where’s Ovi: Alex Ovechkin started Thursday night on the right side of Nicklas Backstrom and Wojtek Wolksi and ended on the left side of Backstrom and Joey Crabb. He finished the night with 3 shots, no goals and no assists. Two of his shots were blocked and three missed the net. He also collided with Wolski when he tried to swing behind the left side of Backstrom instead of skating a straight line down the right wing.
“We gotta find each other better and we need to get a better forecheck, too,” Backstrom said. “I think it’s embarrassing the way we’re playing and we’ve really got to regroup and play better [Friday]. It’s up to us. Even if we have a new system it’s not such a big difference from the other system. It’s a matter of work and making the right decisions at the right time.”
Killer mentality: The Caps have surrendered seven power-play goals on 18 chances this season. “Most of it is we’re not clearing the puck,” coach Adam Oates said. “So we’re not helping ourselves.” Conversely, the Caps are 2-for-12 on the power play this season
Iron lungs: Through three games, Mike Green is averaging 26:45 of ice time a night, tied for fifth among all NHL skaters. He is still seeking his first point.
Breaking up Carlzner: For the first time this season the top unit of John Carlson and Karl Alzner was separated. Both players were a minus-2 through two periods against the Canadiens. “It seems like plays we’re so used to making we’re not making,” Alzner said. Oates said he intends to re-unite the duo against the Devils. “I want to get back out there right now and play again.”
Behind the 8-ball: In 180 minutes of hockey, the Caps have held a lead for just 2 minutes, 31 seconds.