Skip to content

Caps players question their effort, coach disagrees

Oct 13, 2013, 10:32 AM EST

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 12: Troy Brouwer #20 of the Washington Capitals looks at the scoreboard as the Colorado Avalanche celebrate their win at Verizon Center on October 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Colorado Avalanche won, 5-1. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s happening again. For the second season in a row, the Washington Capitals are limping out of the gate.

They suffered a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche last night to drop to 1-4-0 this season, but there doesn’t seem to be a consensus as to what the problem is.

Ask the players, and they’ll put into question their own work ethic.

“It’s about wanting to win,” Troy Brouwer told CSN Washington. “That’s all it comes down to. Our talent level’s there. Our effort’s not.”

Brouwer’s statement wasn’t out of sync with what some of his teammates are saying, but Capitals coach Adam Oates has a different theory.

“We had 19 shots in the second period alone,” Oates said. “There were moments we made mistakes, but I didn’t see effort being a problem. I saw mistakes.”

They did outshoot the Avalanche 40-28 on Saturday, but hit a brick wall in their former goaltender, Semyon Varlamov.

Offense has been an unusual problem for Washington over its last few games and Alex Ovechkin is the only Capitals player that can seem to find the back of the net with any degree of consistency. Oates is going to look at shaking up the team’s lines as they get ready for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit

    Dec 22, 2014, 8:54 AM EST

    Matt Bartkowski, Marcus Foligno, Brian Gionta AP

    Brian Gionta was injured as a result of the blow.

  2. Flyers rally as Zepp wins his career debut at 33 years old

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:16 AM EST

    Philadelphia Flyers v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    He’s the oldest goalie to win his debut since Hugh Lehman in 1926.

  3. Hawks’ Raanta posts 31-save shutout over Leafs

    Dec 21, 2014, 10:07 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Toronto has lost three straight games.

  4. Oilers squander three-goal lead, lose 18th time in 19 games

    Dec 21, 2014, 9:42 PM EST

    Ben Scrivens AP

    Will this be the worst season Edmonton has ever had?

  5. Pickard makes one last bid to stay, beats Wings in nine-round SO

    Dec 21, 2014, 9:09 PM EST

    Calvin Pickard, Justin Abdelkader AP

    Varlamov is expected to be back on Tuesday.

  6. Oilers chase Lehtonen with three unanswered goals

    Dec 21, 2014, 7:39 PM EST

    Arcobello goal

    The Stars swapping goaltenders didn’t slow Edmonton.

  7. Brad Richards out with upper-body injury

    Dec 21, 2014, 6:48 PM EST

    Brad Richards Getty Images

    He had been playing with Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg.

  8. Jordan Staal (leg) might return before New Years Eve

    Dec 21, 2014, 5:56 PM EST

    Jordan Staal Getty Images

    The Hurricanes are getting close to full strength.

  9. Roy: 95 percent chance Varlamov will return Tuesday

    Dec 21, 2014, 5:00 PM EST

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 03: Goalie Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche makes a glove save against the New York Rangers at Pepsi Center on April 3, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Rangers 3-2 in an overtime shootout. Getty Images

    Will Calvin Pickard be sent to the minors once Varlamov is healthy?

  10. Hansen misses Canucks’ practice Sunday

    Dec 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EST

    Jannik Hansen Getty Images

    Collapsed on the team’s bench Saturday night.

  11. Report: Eakins could head back to Toronto

    Dec 21, 2014, 2:15 PM EST

    Edmonton Oilers' head coach Dallas Eakins, center, stands on the bench above David Perron, from left to right, Sam Gagner and Ryan Jones during third period NHL hockey action in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) AP

    Was fired by the Oilers Dec. 15.

  12. Zepp to make NHL debut in Flyers’ net Sunday

    Dec 21, 2014, 1:30 PM EST

    Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    The 33-year-old was recalled Friday.

  13. Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving?

    Dec 21, 2014, 12:45 PM EST

    Evgeni Malkin AP

    The Penguins forward was penalized twice for embellishment on Saturday.

  14. Sabres’ recall Pysyk and Schaller from AHL

    Dec 21, 2014, 12:00 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres

    Torrey Mitchell and Tyson Strachan have been placed on IR

  15. Former Pens Niskanen and Orpik react to Bylsma’s firing

    Dec 21, 2014, 11:15 AM EST

    Dan Bylsma AP

    They’re not impressed with how Bylsma and his staff were treated.

Featured video

More than a Stanley Cup hangover?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (3595)
  2. B. Bishop (3578)
  3. C. Perry (2319)
  4. B. Elliott (2111)
  5. C. Crawford (2108)
  1. D. Krejci (1968)
  2. C. Kunitz (1954)
  3. J. Schwartz (1871)
  4. O. Palat (1669)
  5. T. Oshie (1565)