The Washington Capitals jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead over the Winnipeg Jets, Sunday. All the Caps had to do was close the door on the Jets in the third period. It did not get off to a great start.
The Capitals surrendered two goals in the first 3:29 of the period, turning a bulletproof lead into a tenuous one. So Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette utilized his one timeout of the game and rallied the troops at the bench.
After the game, NBC Sports Washington’s Brent Johnson called Lavy’s TO a brilliant move during the postgame show, pointing out how it calmed down the players and helped the team hold onto the win.
In the locker room after the game, Evgeny Kuznetsov told the media that “I think that timeout changed the game.”
But what did Lavy say?
“To be honest with you, I didn’t hear anything,” Kuznetsov said laughing.
So lemme get this straight. The timeout changed the game, but the words of inspiration flew over Kuzunetsov’s head like one of his bird cellies. Check and check.
“Half of it I heard and I’d like to keep it inside (the room) probably,” Kuznetsov added, changing his story. “It was nothing bad. It was all positive.”
Kuzy added that the message communicated was “basic stuff.”
Peter Laviolette explained to the media that he called timeout because he was concerned about how the Jets “came out with some jump” after the Caps’ second period “went the way we wanted.” So he made the move.
“We were back on our heels or moving the puck quickly enough up ice,” Laviolette said. “Just to kind of stop time. Snap the bench just real quick. Talk about it. The things we needed do better. After that, pretty good. ”
The victory gave the scuffling-for-most-of-the-season Capitals a four-game winning streak and put them two points out of a playoff spot.
“We have been talking about to go above .500, you know that’s our goal, so we take it one game at a time,” Kuznetsov said. “To go four-game streak, it’s very important but I feel like next game before homestead, we’ll be even more bigger and [Chicago] is dangerous. So we have to play our game like we played first two periods.”
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