The Washington Capitals’ Game 4 loss to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Friday night was anything but spectacular, with multiple members of the team citing the need for players to improve in time for a crucial Game 5 on Sunday at Capital One Arena in the Nationa’s capital. Head Coach Peter Laviolette’s assessment of his team was similar in tone and abruptness.
Meeting with the media via teleconference after the loss, Laviolette was asked about his team’s ability to regroup in time for Game 5. Laviolette’s response was straightforward and honest, saying:
“Well we got to play better than we did. The first three games were relatively close, this one we just weren’t good enough, we weren’t fast enough, we didn’t execute well enough”.
The Caps’ bench boss was asked about the message after a loss that put his team down 3-1 in their first round series, and Laviolette reiterated that there were a number of areas of play the Capitals could improve, and said that the team would get together on Saturday to dissect the performance, calling the game “just not a good night, an off-night”.
Laviolette was pressed on whether fatigue (the Capitals are the NHL’s oldest team) played any factor in the Capitals’ lack of showing on Friday night, to which he responded:
“I haven’t talked to the guys yet..to go backwards on this one to find out. We have to play a quicker game, quicker inside the game itself with the way we play the game, and also with the attack from the players and the attack from the players. I think both of them can make us a faster team”.
The Capitals’ struggling power play, which mustered just one goal (from captain Alex Ovechkin) in seven opportunities on Friday night, was also something brought up to Laviolette, who responded, “Again, with the game just ending, I think there’s time on the way home as well as in the morning, those are all things we’ll look at”.
On the Capitals’ needing to reign in emotions, Laviolette said:
“They scored power play goals tonight. Even though it went back and forth with the penalties, discipline still factors into it. Some of the penalties I don’t like, some are a part of the game, it’s physical out there. But at the end of the day there’s got to be discipline.”
Game 5 begins at 6:30 EST on Sunday afternoon and can be seen on NBC Sports Washington or NBC.
By Michael Fleetwood