Washington Capitals looking to break the Kings dominance in possession
Oates said that the Kings had a strong line of forwards that could make the game an aggressive one and snatch the puck away from the players. He added that they weren’t afraid to get physical and to keep the puck away from them they would have to make the smarter moves.
“They got some really good forwards, very strong, they can bump your D off the puck. They forecheck strong, so we’ve got to handle their waves of the physicality and the [Capitals'] forwards getting on their D,” Oates said. “We’ve got to make sure everybody gets back. We’ve got to really be conscious of it’s not out of the zone until it crosses that blue line.”
And the Washingtons do have a weak point when it comes to possession because the players are unable to hold onto the puck against more aggressive players. Also, when they have to move the puck out of their end most of the time they end up losing it instead. The Kings have been specifically trained by their head coach Darryl Sutter to snatch the puck from the opponents and play a competitive game in which their main focus is the attack. This means that the Washingtons will have to take care of their puck possession when they face them on the ice.
Oates added that they would have to beat them in possession and if they managed that the other aspects would automatically align in their favour.
“We got it out but we didn’t really have possession, and until we do and we get it down the ice we can’t get a bad change. We’ve got to be ready,” Oates said.
“They’re a puck-possession team because they’re five guys together in all three zones; they’re physical; they don’t give you much. They’re not a breakaway team necessarily, but they control the play and you’ve got to be ready to match that.”