Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette spoke to the media postgame after Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. He discussed the team’s execution on the ice is not up to par two games into the 2022-23 regular season.
After Thursday’s loss, the Capitals fell to 0-2-0 to start the season. Additionally, they have been 0-for-9 on the power play, and the penalty kill, which has a 67% efficiency, has given up two goals.
“A lot of it is execution,” Laviolette said. “We’ve got to be better with what we’re doing out on the ice, so we’ll go back and continue to work on it, but for me, I think the execution’s gotta be better.”
On the entirety of the game, Laviolette said it was “tight” and that the Capitals came out “pretty hard” in the first period. He was happy with goaltender Charlie Lindgren‘s performance, saying Lindgren “did a really good job of giving us a chance to win,” but noted that the second and third periods weren’t “as much” as they gave in the first.
“I thought we did a much better job defensively and it was more of an even game kind of back-and-forth…offensively, we’ve gotta do more five-on-five…coming off of [Wednesday’s loss], same thing—there’s things that we need to do better, the power-play’s gotta be better, the penalty kill’s gotta be better, discipline’s gotta be better.”
He explained a little further into giving up three goals: “[There are] three direct things, or multiple things happening right before each goal, so even if you’re playing a decent game in the second or third defensively and you’re starting to shut things down, if there’s a mistake then it’s got a chance to go in the back of the net, so we’re doing enough not to win. We gotta clean that up just a little bit. The more you can remove that’s wrong with the game, the mistakes that you make…the better chance you have at being successful.”
A few Capitals players are out due to injuries, yet Laviolette hinted that should not be an excuse for not playing well as every team is dealing with the same thing. He said, “We’ve got good players on the ice, and [there are] things we can do better to win hockey games.”
Laviolette once again praised Lindgren, who made 36 saves in his Capitals debut, calling him “really solid” and “really good for us.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 14, 2022
By Della Young