The Washington Capitals entered the 2020-21 season with a new coach that had been there, lots of veteran leadership, and one of the most imposing rosters in the NHL. But after being blitzed by the Boston Bruins in Game Four Friday night, the Caps are one game away from having the same fate as its 2019 and 2020 teams: being first rounded.
Nicklas Backstrom and Lars Eller spoke to the press in the Zoom Room after the shocking letdown game and they wore the disappointment on their face.
The Capitals face elimination in Game Five at Capital One Arena on Sunday night.
On how the Capitals rebound for Game Five:
Tough situation. Tough spot. I think something we’ve been through before and I feel like we’ve been down like this before. You just got to take one shift at a time, one game at a time, that kind of scenario from now on. Yeah, tough situation. We’ve got to believe in the locker room. We need to regroup here and go from there.
His emotions after Game Four:
It’s disappointing. Disappointing and a little bit of frustration as well. At the same time, it’s not over. We’ve just got to regroup. We’re going back home here. We’re going to have a good meeting tomorrow and really talk about stuff we can do better.
How to win on Sunday:
Obviously, special teams is one scenario. It’s a lot of penalties in this series and a lot of chances on special teams. In that area, we need to be better. I feel like a little bit of everything. Somehow we’ve got to get our confidence back here.
We have to want it. Obviously a big game coming up. We have to be mentally ready. Previous three games we were a lot better than tonight. We’ve got to play for each other. That’s not something we did tonight.
Somehow we have to create more offensive chances. I think we’ve just got to just move around more and make sure we create those chances for ourselves. It’s not just going to happen. We have to create some more offensive zone looks.
On how the Capitals need to improve:
We just need five guys wanting the puck, supporting each other better. I think we’re pretty spread out. It feels like it’s one or two guys attacking sometimes. We need to support each other a lot better than we are right now, attacking with five. Defend with five. Play faster. Everything. Every aspect of the game we need to be better.
You put this disappointment behind you and you reset mentally. At the same time, you’ve gotta know what situation we’re in. So you want to see a desperate team. You want to see fight. At the same time, we’ve got to stay composed. We need the best from everybody, every individual. We need the puck more than we got tonight. I know we can do it.
His emotions after Game Four:
Lots of emotions. We didn’t really bring it today. We were off. Now we’ve got 48 hours to regroup here. I want to see a different team in Game Five at home. I believe we can do that. I’ve seen that before.
What went wrong?
I’m not picking on any guys here but it’s crucial to stay disciplined in the playoffs. We can’t put ourselves down five, six penalties, whatever it was we had. We just gotta be better in that department. There’s gotta be more discipline. Don’t put ourselves in that situation. A part of is we’ve got to play better with the puck so we’re not chasing it all the time. We’ve gotta take care of the puck. We’ve got to want the puck. It’s hard to draw penalties when we don’t have it. Our team can be a lot better than what we showed tonight.
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