Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals started the 2017-2018 season not particularly well. They would win a game or two, but soon follow it with a loss, never really finding traction. It all came to a boiling point when the Capitals faced the Colorado Avalanche on November 16th, getting spanked 2-6. As head coach Barry Trotz put it, “They handed us our lunch.” But that seemed to be the turning point in the season. After that loss, the Capitals reeled off 8 wins in 11 games.
So it was kind of fitting that the Capitals played the Colorado Avalanche after suffering their worst loss since that November embarrassment. On Monday they played the New York Islanders and gave a poor effort in a 1-3 loss. So how would the Capitals respond, playing the team that turned around their season before with a beat down? Quite well actually with a 5-2 win.
Matt Niskanen said after the game, “We got our butt kicked in Colorado. So it was a good response game for sure. Pretty solid effort from the guys tonight.” John Carlson, who had a rocket of a goal in the game tonight joked, “I guess we do better at this altitude.” He continued seriously, “It’s been going pretty good since then. We had to respond.”
What was difference between the game in November and the one tonight? “We played a good structured game.” Brett Connolly answered, who had a scored himself. Both Trotz and Niskanen had similar answers to the question. They both used the word “prideful” when explaining the group and their hate of losing.
The question now is can a win against the Avalanche spark the Capitals to go back on a good run like a loss to the Avalanche did nearly a month ago? The Islanders game was the first low point since the Colorado loss. Is this a start another good streak? “If the thing you’re looking for is a response [after a loss] than we’ve been able to do that last couple times we lost.” Niskanen summed up, “Need to try to get another streak going so we don’t have to respond for a while.”
By Luke Adomanis