After Two Losses To Start The Season, Head Coach Peter Laviolette Says Capitals’ Game Execution Must Be Better

Screencap: Capitals

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.”

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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11 Responses to After Two Losses To Start The Season, Head Coach Peter Laviolette Says Capitals’ Game Execution Must Be Better

  1. Bryan Hailey says:

    Reminds me of the old quote by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach, John McKay. When asked about his team’s execution he said, “I’m in favor of it.”
    Lots of areas to clean up for the Caps. Unfortunately, in this conference, they may not have a lot of time to get right.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Ha! Good pull. I had forgotten about him. He was a great personality in sports.

      • novafyre says:

        There are two other McKay quotes I have used in referring to the Caps.

        The first is “As a person gets older he doesn’t get faster.” Have used that one a lot past 2 years. I think I’ll get a lot of use out of it again this year.

        The other comes up towards the end of the season and the Caps are on the cusp for that last wild card spot. “”Three or four plane crashes and we’re in the playoffs.”

      • KimRB says:

        The NFL Films footage of McKay and the expansion Yuckaneers is hilarious.

        • novafyre says:

          Hey, I was in the stands for some of those losses!! Couldn’t afford to go often, but did see a few in person.

          Bruce is still my all time favorite logo any sport. Doesn’t have to be creamsicle colors but love that image.

    • novafyre says:

      No coach better than John McKay for quotes. And he was right.

      I don’t believe Lavi is as correct. Yes, the Caps did not execute well. But the playbook does not seem to have changed. The Caps have not gotten younger. Ice time is proportional to one’s age. This is all attributable to the GM and HC and their staffs. Younger players were there. They chose not to use them. This fansite and others called for changes in the PP last year if not for changes in the PP staff. No changes appear to have been made. Even NBCSW, now owned by Monumental, says that the rot goes deeper.

      Over the course of a season, young players will gain experience. Old players will get injured and tired. You’re right. We don’t have a lot of time.

  2. steven says:

    Lav 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.”. That is so true but with a team that is older and slower than last years team they could execute perfectly but still be a step behind other teams. This is what happens when you want older players on your team in a sport that is built on sped, size, speed and more speed. As players get older the do NOT get faster nor do their reflexes get better. And pinning your hopes of making the playoffs on 2 players who are out injured if delusional. This team made the playoffs by default last year however this year those teams below them have improved while the Caps have just gotten older and have 2 key players hurt long term and 1 may not come back at all. Lastly there is a lame duck HC who likes older players in a league where they are young and fast. He is playing in the past and doing this team NO good. Wonder when they will fire him hopefully by mid November and let his two stooge coaches, Forsythe and McCarthy, go with him. This team needs new blood in the gm office, HC, coaching staff and on the roster. Making the playoffs only to go out in the first round and lose out on a high draft pick is ridiculous. There is no time like right NOW to start a rebuild and start with the BM and HC

    • Bryan Hailey says:

      I have tried to defend Laviolette, but it gets harder and harder. When you look at the way the young guys played the first half of last season, there is no reason they shouldn’t have been better integrated into the lineup later in the season and now this season. Is the staff afraid the young guys will make game-losing mistakes? Guess what, they are 0-2 anyway. Would rather lose with some young guys gaining experience. (Though I think the young guys would actually give them a better chance to win.) As far as GMBM, while I do like some of his off-season moves, I would have been fine with letting him go.

    • novafyre says:

      Alas, perfectly said steven.

    • Anonymous says:


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