Photo: Scott Levy
For the second game in a row, the Capitals got blown out. The same things were to blame for Friday’s 5-1 defeat to Columbus and Sunday’s 4-1 loss to New York: dumb penalties and turnovers. What’s troubling, though, it’s that the players and the coaching staff recognized this after Friday’s loss. However, the mistakes only got worse against the Rangers. Washington has now lost five straight games.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” head coach Adam Oates told reporters after the game before ticking off the team’s shortfalls. “They didn’t really have to earn it.”
“We’re fighting an uphill battle,” he continued.
Oates’s players echoed his comments.
“We just can’t get those penalties,” goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who was pulled after allowing three goals on eight shots, said. “I don’t think we can win games when we sit in the box 20, 25 minutes a game. Five-on-five has been good.”
Tomorrow, the Caps will practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in preparation for the next game on Tuesday. Six of the next seven games are on the road. Right now, the Capitals aren’t a playoff team. And they know that.
“We’re one step behind them where we should be one step ahead of them,” said Nicklas Backstrom, one of the team’s alternate captains. “We’re in a slump right now, that’s for sure. It’s tough.”
“It has to come from us, the leaders: myself, Ovi, Greener, Brooks, Brouwer, Chimmer, all the experienced guys,” he concluded. “We gotta really stick together here and make sure we battle through it. It’s tough but I think we’re gonna turn this around. We’re gonna do it next game I think. We’re gonna be much stronger after that.”
Ovechkin: “What am I going to say? ‘Wake up everybody’ Or something like that? We say too much, go out there and do it.” #Caps
— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) January 20, 2014
Troy: "Now it's to the point where who cares if you play good, play bad, you need points. … We're losing ground." #Caps
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) January 20, 2014