Improvement and adjustment
When he arrived at Pmey Orchard Ice Arena last August, Khristich knew he needed to work on his shot. He wanted to improve his power and accuracy both near the net and from the outside.
"Peter (Bondra) has the type of shot where he can score from anywhere on the ice," said Khristich. "That's the type of shot I'm looking to improve. My shooting around the net is good, and in our offence, we're going to get a lot of chances inside. That's one place I wanted to improve.''
Specifically, Khristich wanted to upgrade his wrist shot. "Playing around the net as much as we do, it's important to take advantage of the chances we get," he said. "Our style is to crowd the net, get the defensemen to fire the puck inside and let us work the rebound. Getting a stronger, more accurate wrist shot will help me gain the confidence I need to take it when it's there."
Now in his fifth NHL season, Khristich feels he's regained some of that scoring touch. Tills year, Khristich passed Craig Laughlin (140), Dino Ciccarelli (112) and Ryan Walter (114) for career goals in a Washington Capitals uniform. By next season, he should pass Alan and Bob Could, moving closer to the Capitals' top 10 goal scoring list.
Khristich is not completely content with his game though. He knows he has to improve his scoring to the standards he set in 1991-92, strengthen his shot and continue to crash the net. The Capitals believe Khristich is a potential 100-point player.
With previous success comes the pressure to score consistently. "We've got a lot of guys on this team who can score goals... and they do score," said Khristich. "We're expected to score every night and we have to work hard to meet those demands if we're to continue winning." °