After last night's 6-3 loss to Pittsburgh, goaltender Braden Holtby cited problems with the Capitals "mental game" while others said they were "deflated" by allowing a pair of goals in the second period and couldn't recover (read their full comments in my story for Monday's paper). Told of the players' comments, Coach Adam Oates disagreed and said he thought the team played well. "I don't see it that way. I don't. I thought we played a good hockey game," Oates said. "They had 14 shots, you know? We played a very good hockey game. We did what we were supposed to. They didn't generate anything we didn't give them. I don't see it that way." A little later in the press conference, Oates was asked to assess how he believed the Capitals were playing as a group after nine games. "Unless I see something crazy in the video that I didn't notice, they had no chances that we didn't give them. None," Oates said. "So we made a couple mistakes, but other than that, I thought we played a good, solid hockey game, you know? Yeah, there's things we can do better, of course, and we'll address that, but I don't look at that game as that it got away from us, because we were playing well." >>While the Capitals' power play did cash in during the third period, the unit didn't help tilt the ice in the home team's favor early on when it needed it the most. In the second period, after the score was tied 2-2, Washington had its first power play of the game with Zach Boychuk off for boarding. The Capitals didn't record a single shot on goal during the man advantage and less than a minute after it expired, Kris Letang scored to put Pittsburgh ahead 3-2. "You know, you don't have to score all the time, but I think you need to create some momentum to keep it going," Mike Ribeiro said. "A lot of times when you don't create much on your power play, you just lose momentum and then other teams come back and score. And the line who goes there after us has to realize, too, that you cannot get score after a so-so power play. Just keep us in the game. Once again it comes down to details of the game."
One-timers: Oates sees positives in Caps' loss to Penguins
Washington Post | Feb 4