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Holtby thinks Caps are too loose before games, coach disagrees

Nov 1, 2013, 10:01 AM EST

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.

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