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Oates keeps Capitals’ lines intact, preaches patience

Oct 14, 2013, 3:02 PM EDT

Head coach Adam Oates of the Washington Capitals watches the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Verizon Center on February 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.
(February 4, 2013 - Source: Greg Fiume/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Washington has scored just four goals in its last three games and has consequently lost all of those contests. Still, Capitals coach Adam Oates has decided to stay the course going into tonight’s contest against the Edmonton Oilers.

Washington will go back to goaltender Braden Holtby after Michal Neuvirth got the nod in Saturday’s 5-1 defeat to the Colorado Avalanche. However, they also will employ the same lines and defensive pairings tonight.

“Some decisions are tough,” Oates told CSN Washington. “I don’t feel we played that badly. The score obviously wasn’t great, but there were a lot of things we did well and I don’t want them to think we’re pushing the panic button.”

Mikhail Grabovski, who had a hat trick in Washington’s season opener and hasn’t scored since, voiced his appreciation for Oates’ support and linemate Brooks Laich largely echoed that sentiment.

Washington endured similar struggles early in Oates’ first season as the team’s head coach. They got off to a 2-8-1 start, but heated up as the year progressed to win the Southeast Division.

Related:

Caps players question their effort, coach disagrees

  1. bigoldorcafromvan - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    I would love to see one of the Oilers. (Hall) score a goal from infront of the net like Hertl did. I want to see Oates come unglued.

    • ibieiniid - Oct 14, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      speaking of glued…. his face looks like it’s glued on in that photo.

    • imleftcoast - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      If Hall scored 4 goals and got his rooster out, I bet Oates would come unglued.

  2. lowenni - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Erat HAS to come off the fourth line. He’s not ever going to be the player Caps fans want him to be after the Forsberg, but his skill and speed are being absolutely wasted by playing him six minutes a night with the likes of Jay Beagle and Latta. Laich has done nothing offensively so far, the third line is made up of should-be fourth-liners…yet they keep a proven veteran and one of the most skilled players on the team on the fourth line. I love Oates, but I can’t for the life of me understand his mentality when it comes to his lines this year.

  3. dtownbeatdown - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    WHOA! Look at that mug… that is some serious botox. Is that Ray Liotta’s brother?

  4. dtownbeatdown - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    This was such an odd time for a game between two big dog teams, let alone an original 6 matchup? 1pm on a Monday? Come on NHL. Instead I get to watch Sabre’s and the Wild in the prime time spot…

    • dtownbeatdown - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Damn I thumbed myself down… somehow this got posted onto this article… I was in the the Wings Bruins game article. My bad fellas.

  5. kantnockdahustle89 - Oct 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Dont get all the facial jokes because Oates has looked weird his whole career. Not like anything has changed.

    The 3rd line is the best line right now and have been since the playoffs. And none of them are 4th line players…they fit exactly where they need to be. MarJoke should be on the 4th line and Erat placed in the top 2 lines for sure.

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