For almost 60 minutes, the Washington Capitals looked in shambles as they faced the New York Islanders in game one of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The game was filled with bad decisions and sloppy mistakes. Washington has high hopes for this spring, but Wednesday’s performance put those dreams, at least for now, in doubt.
After the game, the locker room was filled with frustrated players, with many Capitals saying they lacked focus and threw away the fundamentals of hockey.
All that is a recipe for a hard practice full of yelling and skating the next day. Barry Trotz was asked Thursday if he considered doing that. His response was simple: “No.”
Instead, it was a light optional affair, with seven players — Alex Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson, Joel Ward, Brooks Orpik, Curtis Glencross, John Carlson, and Braden Holtby — skipping the drills.
“We’ve skated three days in a row here so I usually like to let guys heal up any bruises or bumps or any strains,” Trotz explained. “The guys have played lots of minutes. They can get a little bit of a breather and be ready to go tomorrow.”
Trotz indicated that because Washington’s mistakes were so elemental last night, there was no reason to hammer those errors into the team.
“The stuff that we need to do, we’ve worked on it all year so it’s not going to be anything that is earth shattering or anything like that,” he said. “We got to play quicker, we got to play better, we got to execute better. We had too many guys that didn’t play the way they need to play so that’s the way it is.”
“There’s some things we can do better and we will do better tomorrow,” Trotz concluded.
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