Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/07/14 at 08:58 AM ET
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
The 57-year-old Langway, reached via phone at his residence outside Fredericksburg, Virginia, said he thinks an improved defense will be a huge asset for the Capitals moving forward. The Capitals also added another former Penguin, veteran Brooks Orpik, for good measure to round out a back end that was a sore spot for the team last season.
"They have more balanced defensemen now,” Langway told ESPN.com “They have their 1-2 defenseman, their 3-4 that can play against top players but might rather not, and their 5-6 can play on the penalty kill, fill in, or be tough guys that play against tough guys. That can change the momentum. I don’t think the Capitals have had that for years."
Whereas Mike Green was once considered among the elite defenseman in the league, particularly for his offensive abilities, he has been plagued by injuries and inconsistency in recent years. John Carlson has been regarded as one of the top young blueliners in the league, but the defense struggled as a whole this past season. Now, with more depth, certain players like Carlson and Green may have a little less responsibility and a little more freedom to produce offensively.
That won’t be the only positive spillover effect, either. Langway thinks an improved defense could also pay dividends for the likes of Ovechkin, who was routinely criticized for his defensive shortcomings last season despite leading the league with 51 goals and nabbing his fourth Rocket Richard Trophy.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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