WASHINGTON–The Washington Capitals lost 4-2 to the Winnipeg Jets in their first home opener loss in over a decade.
“Early, obviously, we had a good start,” Capitals Head Coach Adam Oates said. “Got a goal. Things were going our way. We got a couple penalties, gave them life. The penalty-killing — they scored two goals on it. The first one, a little flukey. We kind of lost our momentum a little bit. It is a new system, and that’s going to be hard, and we’ve got to fight through that. But still, I thought we could have had better execution. We didn’t give ourselves the opportunity to play the team game. We turned it over at the blue line too many times. Just little, subtle things I thought we could have done better to help ourselves.”
Even though the Winnipeg Jets played the previous day, it seemed like the Caps were the ones playing back-to-back games.
“I just didn’t think we had the energy that we needed tonight,” Caps forward Matt Hendricks said. “One of our keys to success was to put them on their heels, put pucks in their end and forecheck them, get them to turn, get them to work. They played last night. And we didn’t make them look like that.”
With 48 games in 99 days, the Caps can’t afford a few more losses and the players aren’t really sure what’s happening.
“I think part of it’s mentally,” Caps defenseman Karl Alzner said. “I think we’re out-thinking ourselves a lot of times, we’re messing with our own brains. Some of that’s got to stop; we’ve got to just go out and play hockey, everybody knows how to play hockey here. We can blame learning a system, like Troy said, as long as we want, but it’s us now. It’s not learning a system, it’s us that’s got to fix it.”
Mike Ribeiro received a ten-minute game misconduct and an unsportsmanlike conduct late in the third period after he said he got high-sticked for the second time in the game with no call.
“I just feel like you’re not allowed to talk to them anymore about situations that happens in a game,” Ribeiro said.
Listen here to what Adam Oates, Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, Mike Ribeiro & Troy Brouwer had to say after the loss.
Adam Oates Postgame Audio
Alex Ovechkin Postgame Audio
Braden Holtby Postgame Audio
Mike Ribeiro Postgame Audio
Troy Brouwer Postgame Audio