With a loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday evening, the Washington Capitals have drawn their record in their last 20 games to 10-10-0 and are in the midst of their toughest stretch of the 2019-20 season. After the loss in Vegas, Head Coach Reirden spoke to the media and discussed the team’s struggles.
“The start has not been where we wanted, and we’ve been chasing the game far too often”, Reirden told Caps Radio Play-by-Play announcer John Walton, “It’s really been putting us behind the eight-ball…and then we have to overuse our top guys chasing games now…When we’re chasing games, I’m not able to use four lines and six d-men”.
When talking about the Capitals’ ability in the defensive and offensive zones, Reirden cut straight to the point, saying, “We’re obviously spending a lot of time the last couple games working on getting better in terms of our d-zone coverage around our net. We’re getting players to the front of the net to defend better and then we’re not doing our jobs. We’re not hard enough around that area and we’re losing battles in that area….but now you have to do your job”
Reirden did have some positives to take from the game, however, praising the team’s physicality against the Golden Knights, “I thought our physicality tonight was at a much better level, that I didn’t have a problem with. I think that is the reason we come back often”. Reiren also praised starting goaltender Braden Holtby’s performance and the team’s resilient mindset. “Like I said, Braden keeps us in it, we have a couple good kills, and our guys don’t quit, are guys do not quit, until the final buzzer. Regardless of the situation this entire year, the one thing that stays truest to our team is that they don’t quit until the final buzzer, but we don’t deserve to [come away with a point] with how we start the game.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 18, 2020
The Capitals host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, February 20 at Capital One Arena and will look to shake out of the rut that has plagued them for the last few weeks.
By Michael Fleetwood