Most of the talk after the Capitals first Training Camp practice settled on how this would be the season in which the Capitals corrected the wrong that was the 2010 playoffs. Below are the comments of General Manager George McPhee on the lack of change within the off-season.
“We had a fabulous season last year and for about six and a half months we were a terrific team and in five days we lost it. We came to camp expecting to do good and we had a real good season with really no adversity.
We start the playoffs three games to one and in five days it fell apart. We didn’t play well enough in game five (against Montreal); we couldn’t have played better than we did in game six. That was probably the best game we played all season. We were pretty good in game seven but the goalie was great, our power play didn’t work and we scored one goal a game the last three games and our strength last year was scoring.
It didn’t work out but I can’t allow five days to get in the way of what we think is a terrific team. So we’d like to keep them together and see how they do this year.”
It was a sentiment that Tomas Fleischmann and many others agreed with. “Last year we were best team in NHL, we didn’t change our team at all so we just make sure we play the same way and do it in the playoffs.”
If only it was that easy.
Jason Chimera also sounded confident, and told me he was happy that George McPhee didn’t decide to blow the team up.
“You don’t get the Presidents’ Trophy just by a fluke, when a team is no good. What happened in the playoffs should never happen again. You just gotta take that and learn from it and move on from that but there’s no sense changing anything. When you win the Presidents’ Trophy you did something right so there’s no panicking and blowing all that up.”
But as Brooks Laich explained, doing well in the regular season, simply isn’t enough anymore.
“Doing well in the regular season is one thing but we haven’t been close to anything yet. It’s nice to have potential but unless you do anything with its no fun for us, we have to take the next step this year we’ve been saying for the past couple years that we have a good young hockey club. Losing in the playoffs is not acceptable and we want to make that known well, the very first day in camp.”
That’s good that Brooks said that, but I hope other Capitals share his anger. Eric Fehr called last season an ‘anomaly,’ and between him and McPhee’s ‘bad five days’ comment, I’m not sure I like the Capitals blaming their playoff failure on bad luck. That to me speaks to a team that may not be entering the season on a serious enough note. I hope I’m wrong.
Eric Fehr on bringing John Carlson and Karl Alzner to twitter.
“I just said it’s a good opportunity to let the fans know more about you. For young guys coming into the league, it gives them a chance for people to find out who you are, and maybe they get some fans out of it.”
Note: You can follow John Carlson on twitter at @JohnCarlson74 and you can find Karl Alzner at @karlalzner. Oh, and Hershey Bears member, and Russian Machine correspondent, Andrew Gordon can also be found on twitter at @AndrewGordon10.