With the Capitals’ offense mired in a protracted drought, Nicklas Backstrom got right to the point when asked how the team can generate more scoring during 5-on-5 situations.
I think we need to be a little more gritty, go in front of the net instead of all three guys trying to cycle the puck all the time. I mean, we need a least one guy in front of the net. Shots, rebounds—that’s the kind of goals that goes in these days. We have to be able to go in front of the net and go to the dirty areas and create second chances.
After 23 games, the Capitals have 42 goals while skating 5-on-5, which is tied for 15th. For comparison’s sake, the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers have a league-best 66 goals at 5-on-5 through 26 games.
To boost their number, Backstrom says the Caps need to make a change, both in tactics and mentality. We'll see in the coming days if he and his teammates are willing to make the necessary adjustments.