Skip to content

How Caps, Rangers turned their seasons around

May 2, 2013, 12:52 AM EDT

callahanovechkingetty Getty Images

Being that this is their third consecutive playoff meeting, the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers know each other pretty well. As it happens, both teams have at least one thing in common: they’ve turned things around from darker times.

The Associated Press breaks down some pivotal moments for each team.

In the case of the Capitals, it all started to turn around after a players-only meeting following a dispiriting 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 8. Defenseman Karl Alzner described that moment.

“We played terrible. Didn’t have any emotion. It’s one you needed to talk about instantly; can’t let things like that drag on,” Alzner said. “We had to get everything out in the open, hear what everybody was feeling, why we thought we weren’t playing with as much intensity as we normally do, and figure it out. Figure it out now.”

While the Capitals cleared the air, the Rangers brought in new blood via trades. John Tortorella noted that things picked up when the team made trades that (most notably) sent Marian Gaborik out of town while bringing in Ryane Clowe and Derick Brassard.

“I think it solidified our team,” Tortorella said. “We have kind of grown since then. We’re not always dead-on in our minutes in the game, but we have still found ways to win hockey games, and that’s what we’re going to have to do in the playoffs.”

“I thought it changed our team a little bit … And we took off.”

Of course, both teams will face their biggest tests in the next weeks … and maybe months.

Latest Posts
  1. Kings will have full compliment of players tonight vs. Pens

    Oct 30, 2014, 10:29 AM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Three Getty Images

    After playing a man short on Tuesday in Philly.

  2. Fasth ready to return, Gazdic starts conditioning stint

    Oct 30, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT

    Viktor Fasth Getty Images

    Some good news for Edmonton on the injury front.

  3. Stars other big summer addition – Hemsky – off to ugly start

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Ales Hemsky Getty Images

    If he could get going, Dallas wouldn’t be as reliant on its top line.

  4. PHT Morning Skate: Fighting majors way down this season

    Oct 30, 2014, 8:01 AM EDT

    Eric Staal, Nick Bonino AP

    The numbers are even more striking when you compare Oct. 2014 to Oct. 2003

  5. Smith, Predators halt Oilers’ winning streak

    Oct 30, 2014, 12:56 AM EDT

    Craig Smith, Filip Forsberg AP

    Nashville continues its strong start to 2014-15.

  6. Red Wings’ Weiss still dealing with groin injury

    Oct 29, 2014, 11:50 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    He sat out the third period for Grand Rapids because of soreness.

  7. Video: Will dirty hits continue to go down?

    Oct 29, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT

    John Moore AP

    Interesting discussion between Bob McKenzie and Mike Milbury.

  8. NHL explains why officials waved off Predators’ goal

    Oct 29, 2014, 10:45 PM EDT

    waveoff

    Some controversial calls on a light Wednesday night.

  9. Video: McKenzie’s Alfredsson update isn’t promising

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    “No news is bad news” for the veteran forward.

  10. Video: Doc Emrick’s heartfelt words about Gordie Howe

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:14 PM EDT

    Antti Niemi AP

    Also: a fun story from Mike Milbury’s playing days.

  11. McKenzie: Hockey community rallies around Howe

    Oct 29, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

    Frank Lennon Toronto Star Photos Getty Images

    It appears that the health of “Mr. Hockey” has been improving.

  12. Video: Ovechkin talks Olympic disappointment, Caps changes

    Oct 29, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    He hopes to end his scoring slump against Detroit tonight.

  13. WATCH LIVE: Red Wings vs. Capitals on Rivalry Night

    Oct 29, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT

    Justin Abdelkader,  Alex Ovechkin AP

    Can Alex Ovechkin break his cold streak?

  14. Flames’ Stajan goes on IR, out about six weeks

    Oct 29, 2014, 6:19 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Calgary Flames Getty Images

    Markus Granlund gets called up amid many injuries.

  15. Rangers’ Moore suspended five games for ‘extremely difficult’ Haula hit

    Oct 29, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT

    John Moore John Moore

    Punished for making the head the primary point of contact.

Featured video

Illegal hits are down -- but will it last?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Staal (3240)
  2. C. Crawford (3044)
  3. P. Stastny (2401)
  4. M. Gaborik (2399)
  5. E. Kane (2282)
  1. A. Kopitar (2137)
  2. V. Hedman (2064)
  3. D. Heatley (2008)
  4. J. Franzen (1877)
  5. N. Foligno (1850)