With the Capitals’ season officially over, the team’s players and staff gathered at MedStar Capitals Iceplex for their annual Exit Interviews, talking to the media before heading their separate ways for the summer and offseason. Always a favorite of the media, captain Alex Ovechkin gave his thoughts on the team’s first round exit, another team lifting the Stanley Cup, and more.
While he led the Caps with nine points (four goals, five assists) in the seven-game series against the Carolina Hurricanes, Ovechkin was critical of his own play, saying, “Me personally, I have to be better. If you don’t win, you don’t play well”; when asked what specifically he could do better, Ovechkin responded with “defensive play and even fight I could do better”, making fun of his fight with Carolina rookie Andrei Svechnikov. He also mentioned the Capitals have the summer to think about how to improve upon this season when they reconvene at training camp in the fall.
Ovi says we have all summer to think about how we can be better and go back and do it again pic.twitter.com/VqYmUF3ONL
— Scott Abraham (@ScottABC7) April 26, 2019
When asked about the Capitals’ leadership group, Ovechkin had high praise for the team’s leadership:
Alex Ovechkin: “I think we have a very good leadership group … it isn’t about one guy.”
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) April 26, 2019
Ovechkin also praised the locker room as the best locker room he has ever been a part of during his 14 seasons in Washington. The Capitals’ captain was asked about his thoughts on another team (including former bench boss Barry Trotz) winning the Stanley Cup this summer, to which he responded: “To be honest, I don’t care. I wish him [Trotz] luck, I wish all the teams luck, but it sucks we won’t be there”.
With Nicklas Backtrom and Braden Holtby’s contracts expiring after next season, Ovechkin was asked about whether he would like to see that taken care of, to which the Caps’ captain responded: “I’m not a Mac [Capitals’ General Manager Brian MacLellan]”, going to say he believes the team still has a chance to win with the current group.
It was confirmed shortly after the Capitals’ loss to Carolina that Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov would be joining Team Russia for the World Championships, which Ovechkin confirmed he would joining on Monday.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 26, 2019