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Holtby thinks Caps are too loose before games, coach disagrees

Nov 1, 2013, 10:01 AM EDT

holtbysplitgetty Getty Images

The Washington Capitals season hasn’t been a disaster, but they certainly can’t be satisfied with their 5-7-0 record. Part of their problem is that they’ve been outscored 13-7 in the first period of games.

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby thinks it’s time for a change and he’d like to see his teammates act more seriously before contests.

“You see too much of guys joking around and listening to music and just looking really loose, like it’s a practice,” he said, according to CSN Washington. “We’re paid to prepare, [not to] have a dance party before the game.”

Capitals coach Adam Oates has a different philosophy. When he was a player, Oates saw himself as a jokester up until the minute the puck dropped and obviously he still managed to have a long and productive career. For him, snapping between lighthearted and serious at a moment’s notice wasn’t an issue. Not everyone is like Oates, but to him that just means that there’s no universal answer to the question of how loose is too loose before a game.

The Capitals bench boss isn’t alone in those feelings either.

“That’s (Holtby’s) point of view, but I think we’re grown men, all of us, and we should be able to prepare ourselves,” Nicklas Backstrom said. “Everyone is doing different stuff. That’s up to the individual.”

The Washington Capitals will play the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.

  1. hockey412 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Maybe the veteran of all of 50 or 60-something NHL games should take care not to alienate his teammates.

    He may have a point, but the press doesn’t need to hear it.

    • thailer35 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      Maybe Oates should take care to get his team focused before games, especially as they have been underperforming.

      • bcsteele - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        Oh Snap!

      • hockey412 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:33 AM


        I’m not disagreeing with you, but the fact that we, as fans, are having this conversation and turning into critics of an NHL coach based on the comments of an “eh” goaltender who probably takes his job about as seriously as everyone else on that team (which is very seriously) is the reason I say the press doesn’t need to hear. If Holtby were the coach, ok, but as a cog in a wheel that needs to roll smoothly, he should probably not be calling out his teammates to the press.

    • fivetozeroingame7 - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      It’s too bad

  2. 7mantel - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Hockey412 totally agree with you , it doesn’t do anybody any good to complain about your team to the media !

  3. joey4id - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Players and Oates don’t appear to be on the same page. What’s up with this team?

    Caps players question their effort, coach disagrees
    Ryan Dadoun
    Oct 13, 2013, 10:32 AM EDT

    • fivetozeroingame7 - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      It’s the worst organization in professional sports. That’s what’s up.

      • jaguar0413 - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        You might want to check out the Rags’ history before you start throwing around judgments.

      • govtminion - Nov 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        You’re joking, right? They’re not even the worst professional sports organization in their CITY.

  4. lowenni - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    When is this website going to stop using pictures of Neuvirth for articles about Holtby…?

  5. vbcaps - Nov 1, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I like holtby, I think he has a right future but I think he talks to the press too much

    If this was his honest opinion, part of being a professional is determining what you should say publicly and what you should not

  6. jpelle82 - Nov 1, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    i think if you’re doing the same thing over and over to prepare and its ending in the same negative result then maybe you should make a change. goes for any approach to business, relationships…you know, life in general. i get where he’s coming from but i also think it should be addressed behind closed doors. if he’s said it before and been brushed off by coach or management, then maybe he thought it was serious enough to take it to the press. good luck bringing about a culture change in that locker room, or any locker room for that matter, with this kind of approach to the media though.

  7. blomfeld - Nov 1, 2013 at 1:28 PM


    And like ‘maybe’ for once the captain of this team could step forward and finally do something eh ? And just ‘save it’ all of you apologists, lovers and shills … padding your own stats for personal gain is ‘not’ leading a team ! In a better world, Ovechkin would now be ruthlessly stripped of his captaincy and immediately replaced with this brave & selfless ‘team’ player called Holtby.

  8. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Whatever. Talk about a non-issue. Goalies always like to do things differently. They are odd balls to begin with. You have to be a little crazy to want to play in net in the first place.

  9. mp1131211 - Nov 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    An exemplary player you are not, Holtby. Probably just mad cause someone snapped a towel on him last game or something.

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