I know that alot of you won't like hearing this, but the Sens style of hockey, even though it is an exciting style is not a style that is going to win us any playoff series. We won the majority of our games with an all out offensive juggernaut style which worked great during the regular season, as Karlsson played 4th forward and ran away with the point total for dmen.
Then the playoffs started, and Brian Boyle went after Karlsson, and even though we stood up to the behemoth, we were not comfortable with the defensive style required to succeed in the playoffs. Anderson needed to be our best player and he was. In the end we were done in by defensive mistakes that Anderson couldn't stop.
I enjoy offensive hockey as much as anyone does, so I'm not advocating rehiring Jacques Martin as an assistant to turn us into a dreary defensive machine. At the same time, we will need to add the personnel that will help this team when we're ahead in the 3rd period and a stronger defensive style is needed.
Yes, Chris Kelly comes to mind, but more important is to draft and / or trade for dmen who can play that style successfully.
Notice that the four remaining teams in the playoffs have that ability to play shut- down when they need to.
If we learned anything from watching Hunter's insistence that Ovetchkin play some defence if he wanted to get some icetime, it's that defensive hockey isn't really a skill. It's a willingness to expend your energy in a place that's not going to translate into the size of your bank account. All guys who have enough ability to make it to the NHL have the one on one skills to be able to win the puck from an opposition player. It's a matter of willingnes to engage and do what it takes.
Let's face it. The size of your contract in the NHL is directly proportional to one thing... the number of points you put up, so defence comes from the coach's insistence OR NOT. As long as the Capitals were not unhappy with Ovetchkin waiting around at the opposition's blue line for the puck, the Capitals couldn't win anything. Now that was exaggerated to prove a point, but notice how much better we are when our scoring lines play well defensively.
I'm delighted with how much our offence has developed and concerned about what we're going to do to lower the goals against, and be able to play shutdown when we need to.