Capitals Hold “Players Only” Meeting After Fifth Consecutive Loss

mA6T5O4w.jpg-large.jpgPhoto: Bill Smith/NHL via Getty Images

After the Washington Capitals fell to the Chicago Blackhawks, the worst team in the NHL, 8-5 for their fifth consecutive loss (0-4-1) and fourth straight loss in regulation, on Sunday afternoon, the players held a “players only meeting” for the first time this season. 

During the losing streak — the Capitals’ longest since November 2014 when Barry Trotz was just beginning his tenure as head coach, the team has been outscored 23-9 and has given up at least seven goals in a game twice in that span. Caps forwards have scored only 4 goals during that five-game stretch.

The loss to the Blackhawks dropped the Capitals to third in the Metropolitan Divison, though they are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets with the second-most points in the division and are one point behind Trotz’s New York Islanders for first.

Captain Alex Ovechkin has just one goal and three points over the losing streak while center Nicklas Backstrom has one goal and two points. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov has one goal and two points in addition to a -6 rating over the past three games, forward T.J. Oshie has one goal and three points, and forward Tom Wilson has no points over that span.

Capitals head coach Todd Reirden called the team’s recent defensive play “unacceptable” after Sunday’s loss.

Oshie said that the team has to start taking more pride in their game again while goaltender Braden Holtby, who was pulled in the second period against the Blackhawks after allowing four goals on 11 shots, said that the Capitals have to stop thinking that just showing up is going to be enough.

Over the past two seasons, the Capitals are 4-0-0 in games following a closed-door meeting.

With two games left before the team has their annual bye-week, things don’t get easier as both of those games are against powerhouse teams. Washington hosts the San Jose Sharks, the hottest team in the NHL, on Tuesday before playing the Toronto Maple Leafs, another one of the league’s top teams, before their nine-day break.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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4 Responses to Capitals Hold “Players Only” Meeting After Fifth Consecutive Loss

  1. Michael L. Valcourt Sr. says:

    The Capital players may be 4 – 0 after these types of meetings but they usually don’t work. This 2018 edition looks lackluster and complacent resting on their laurels from their championship from last season. They joke around smiling having fun all the while losing five games in a row and I believe there 3 and 8 in their last 11 games. It’s ok to be in a positive happy mood that’s acceptable but winning hockey needs to be secure as well.

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