Peter Laviolette’s notorious across the NHL for his less than revealing interviews, but Monday while speaking with 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies, the Capitals head coach showed some candor.
For instance, when asked about the Pittsburgh Penguins’ five-on-three shorthanded goal that they scored against the Capitals last week, Laviolette said the play made him feel so sick, and not in the good way.
To be precise, it made Lavy want to retch. Blow sick, unbelievable chunks. Hurl. Do this in emoji form: 🤢🤢🤮.
“I’m sorry, coach,” John Auville began. “I can’t get the pass out of my mind from that jerk goalie Casey DeSmith where he gets Blueger on the five-on-three two-man advantage and they score shorthanded…”
“Pause for a second,” Laviolette said. “I want to go throw up and I’ll be back in a minute.
“You guys are really going backwards on me,” Laviolette added. “How about talking about the nine points [out of a possible] 12, huh?”
The shorty the two were referencing was from the January 19 Caps-Pens game at PPG Paints Arena. The Capitals were up 4-2 in the second period and looking to close out the Penguins on a 5-on-3 power-play. Instead, a stunning sequence occurred which made the Capitals unravel.
Evgeny Kuznetsov was unable to carry the puck in and gain entry into the offensive zon so he dumped the puck in. The chip-in, which was supposed to go to the far corner to hit one of his streaking teammates, instead went directly towards the goal. Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith caught the biscuit out of the air and launched an absurd sauce pass to Blueger, springing the forward on a breakaway. Blueger beat Vitek Vanecek on his backhand, narrowing the Caps’ lead to 4-3. The Capitals would later give up a game-tying goal and lose in overtime via a Sidney Crosby game-winner.
After the game, Kuznetsov was asked what happened and took the blame.
“That was bad dump by me,” Kuznetsov said. “Just keep it.”
“I think we had given up a 5-on-3 PP goal (to the Penguins) at that point,” Laviolette said. “You’re kind of irritated that we’re put in that situation and then we finally get our crack at it, our turn at it 5-on-3 and the dump was just tough. The goalie gloved it down. We had forward motion and he just kind of lollipopped it over everybodys’ heads. There was a foot race and they got behind us. That was a bit of a deflating moment. Again, those things happen. We gotta bounce back.
“Listen – it stuck in everybody’s craw,” Laviolette added. “I get it.”
Under Blaine Forsythe’s leadership, the Capitals gave up the fifth most shorthanded goals last season (9) and are one of 12 teams to already give up one this season.
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