Skip to content

Caps GM: ‘We’re not gonna blow anything up’

Feb 8, 2013, 2:06 PM EDT

George McPhee

Last night in Pittsburgh, the Washington Capitals were beaten badly in a game that left captain Alex Ovechkin disgusted and his teammates bemoaning their lack of mental fortitude.

The loss dropped the Caps’ record to 2-8-1, the worst mark in the NHL.

So this morning, general manager George McPhee met with reporters to try and explain how it’s all gone so very wrong.

One issue McPhee repeatedly addressed was discipline. The Caps have been shorthanded 51 times in 11 games, surrendering 15 power-play goals in the process. Their penalty kill (70.6%) is ranked 27th out of 30 teams.

“We’re playing a good game and then we start taking penalties, and we take them in bunches,” said McPhee. “No system, no coach, no team can survive that.”

Another problem spot has been between the pipes.

“Goaltenders have to be better,” said McPhee.

Though 11 games, Michal Neuvirth, 24, and Braden Holtby, 23, have combined for a .875 save percentage, the fourth lowest in the league.

Of course, it was McPhee who rolled the dice on a tandem that included one goalie (Neuvirth) that had never established himself as a reliable NHL starter and another (Holtby) that may have played extremely well in last year’s playoffs, but also started the 2011-12 season in the AHL and isn’t far removed from back-stopping the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL.

“Right now, it’s not going the way they had hoped, (but) it doesn’t mean it won’t,” said McPhee.

“I’ve seen young goaltenders win Cups in this league. I’ve seen young goaltenders come in and play really well.

“They have a lot of experience. For young goalies, they’ve played a lot in [the AHL], and they’re getting games here.”

McPhee offered strong support for new head coach Adam Oates — “I really like the coaches, I love what they’re doing” — and said he’s spoken with ownership in the past few days about ways to improve.

“If there’s something I can do to make the club better, I will,” he said.

“We’re not going to do anything short-term. We’re not going to blow anything up.”

Latest Posts
  1. Predators, Taylor Beck agrees to one-year contract

    Oct 1, 2014, 9:03 AM EDT

    Taylor Beck Getty Images

    He was a restricted free agent, but was still taking part in training camp.

  2. Risk Factors: Buffalo Sabres edition

    Oct 1, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    No, this post doesn’t just include the word “everything.”

  3. Dillon’s agent: Discussions with Stars are ‘frustrating and disappointing’

    Oct 1, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT

    Dallas Stars v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Apparently they won’t hand him Cody Eakin’s two-year, $3.8 million deal.

  4. Video: Flames’ Gaudreau scored another nice one

    Sep 30, 2014, 11:31 PM EDT

    Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Here are some assorted goals for entertainment purposes.

  5. Report: Marc Staal wants at least $6M per year from Rangers

    Sep 30, 2014, 10:23 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four Getty Images

    He’s reportedly asking for a hefty six or seven-year deal.

  6. NHL shoots down Tkachev’s contract with Edmonton

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT

    tkachevvlad Getty Images

    Updated with GM Craig MacTavish’s comments.

  7. Sabres expect Kaleta to miss about one month

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs V Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Buffalo was fearing a broken jaw, which would be even worse.

  8. NHL Board of Governors approves Islanders sale

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:27 PM EDT

    islanderslogo

    It looks like the transition from Charles Wang’s ownership will ramp up soon.

  9. Johansen, Blue Jackets talks haven’t just resumed, they’re ‘very polite’

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    What a difference injuries and a nearing regular season makes …

  10. Drouin’s goal is to return for Lightning opener

    Sep 30, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT

    Lightning Camp Hockey AP

    He says the “progress has been really good.”

  11. Risk Factors: Toronto Maple Leafs edition

    Sep 30, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT

    Randy Carlyle Getty Images

    Will this be another season to forget for Toronto?

  12. Babcock was raving about Smith’s performance versus Leafs

    Sep 30, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT

    Brendan Smith AP

    Called him “the best defenseman on the ice.”

  13. Caps still haven’t identified their 2C

    Sep 30, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Brooks Laich Getty Images

    “We’ve got three games left here, so we really need to finalize what we’re going to do.”

  14. Spezza wants to ‘get comfortable’ before talking contract with Stars

    Sep 30, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    “I’m not naive, I know as the season goes on it’ll become more of a talking point.”

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2433)
  2. E. Malkin (2172)
  3. R. Johansen (2169)
  4. F. Forsberg (1889)
  5. J. Drouin (1870)
  1. P. Datsyuk (1857)
  2. C. Giroux (1841)
  3. G. Nyquist (1723)
  4. J. Harding (1711)
  5. T. Krug (1693)