On Monday, Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway spoke to the media on a Zoom call following today’s optional practice from PPG Paints Arena prior to their tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. Hathaway discussed adjusting to a new system and why the bottom six are focusing on a process than results.
“I personally feel good. I think there’s a lot of adjustment,” Hathaway said on how he feels only three games into the season. He explained that the condensed training camp doesn’t give much time to get used to a new system under head coach Peter Laviolette, but feels like they are “progressing”.
Hathaway said the team had a “long meeting” today about areas for improvement and “trying to get up to speed” due to a short camp and no preseason games. He said, “We’re doing some things well and I think there are other things we can improve on.”
The Capitals took five of six possible points in the first three games of the road trip, but Hathaway noted they can “play better hockey.” “We have to find a way to not trust ourselves to scrape by with points, but rather take control of games,” he said.
He mentioned the bottom-six forwards are working more on “a process than those results” currently. Hathaway said forward Nic Dowd’s goal in Sunday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Penguins was successful because they were “structured and sound”, the defense was “stacked up at the right time”, and how Dowd was in the right place. “It’s when you start sticking to that plan…that was a case where we all knew where we were supposed to go,” Hathaway said, adding, “We’ll be more successful as we continue to work on that process and that’s when the results will come.”
“You definitely appreciate being on his team rather than playing against him,” Hathaway said on defenseman Zdeno Chara. “It’s an unbelievable experience to see how professional he is every day…it’s something a lot of the guys here appreciate.”
Hathway said defenseman Justin Schultz has “fit in seamlessly”. “We’re lucky to have him honestly and he really helps our back end.” The Penguins played a tribute video for Schultz during Sunday’s game thanking him for his time in the Steel City.
By Della Young