Audio by Sky Kerstein
With win No. 1 in the books, Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates had Alex Ovechkin back on a line with center Jay Beagle and winger Joey Crabb in practice this morning. Afterwards, he explained what he likes from the trio.
“I thought they provide a lot of speed of [Ovechkin] and maybe back the D off,” Oates said of the grinding forwards. “Obviously, during the course of a game you can change it back and go through combinations, but I like out balance with it.”
“I guess I’m still learning. I like having North-South guys with him,” Oates said. “Maybe sometimes with the other guys they might try and get too creative. And at the time when I did it [against Buffalo] we needed creativity. We needed something. We needed a spark. We need a goal, as opposed to just maybe being more relentless as a team going north. And I think playing with Joey and Beags, they’re going to go north more.”
You can hear Oates’ full comments, plus his thoughts on Michal Neuvirth’s recent play and John Erskine’s contributions below.