“There’s Always Enough Motivation, Whether You Win Or You Don’t”: John Carlson Talks Missing Playoffs, 2022-23 Season

Screenshot: Washington Capitals

Saturday was “breakdown day” for the Washington Capitals. The day symbolically represents the final day of the 2022-23 season for the team, as players hold final meetings  with management and hold their final media availability with local press.

The Washington Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup championship may seem like a distant memory to some, with the departures of a number of key players and the consecutive first round playoff exits and lack of a postseason appearance altogether this season occurring since. However, the drive to return to the NHL’s winner’s circle is fresh as ever in the minds of those who have experienced it before.

“It’s extremely hard to stand up here after a year and be excited about the year”, said defenseman John Carlson, who is one of the remaining members of that 2018 team, “I’ve played awhile, there’s only one time that’s happened and only one team gets to do those kind of interviews each year. So I don’t lose sight of how hard it is to be that one team, so from that standpoint I think there’s always enough motivation whether you win or you don’t, to either do it again or to keep chasing it down.”

With the Capitals missing out on the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in nine seasons, the team and Head Coach Peter Laviolette, whose contract was set to expire on June 30, mutually agreed to part ways yesterday.

“I think that we all hold each other accountable”, said Carlson, who has played under six head coaches during his time in Washington, “I think that’s, [like you said] the business side of it. And I learned a lot from him, have enormous amount of respect for him both as a coach and individual. But when you sit here after the year like that, it is what it is.”

Carlson, who missed three months after taking a puck to the head in a December 23, 2022 game against the Winnipeg Jets, also cited inconsistent play as the primary reason for the team’s poor finish.

“I think we could have gotten off to a better start. That forced us into November, December to go on a run, if you will. And that’s great and all, but the way things work in this league, from what I’ve seen, is you can’t go on big losing streaks and we had plenty of those this year…that’s the first thing”

“We did, at least, have a real good run that kind of buoys you and gives you a chance if we didn’t have so many of those big losing streaks, so I think consistency was probably the name of the game in terms of that.”

To listen to Carlson’s full comments, see below:

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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6 Responses to “There’s Always Enough Motivation, Whether You Win Or You Don’t”: John Carlson Talks Missing Playoffs, 2022-23 Season

  1. hockeydruid says:

    And another player that needs to go to lower the salary cap and improve the team. I’m not sure what the market would fetch for John, dont think what ir would fetch for Kuzy.

  2. novafyre says:

    It’s hard for a dedicated player to give up his sport — Phelps came back, Brady came back, look how hard it is for Tiger to give up. Chara, Lundqvist. It’s going to be very hard for Nicky and Osh to give it up. Heck, even Hags told reporters that he’s hopeful that he’ll be able to play next season (NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti).

  3. novafyre says:

    In his exit comments Osh made it clear he plans on playing next year.

  4. dwgie26 says:

    JC74 being out for an extended period showed us just how valuable he is. Looking forward to have a more rested and healthy JC next year.

    I have been mostly against brining in another defensemen but i have come around on that thinking. Even though Fever and JC74 played pretty well together getting a top 4 lefty who is 25-28. If we spend deeply on forwards (which I still think is the priority), I’m not opposed to bringing back Gus even at 32 as he can play the 1LD spot at a value.

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