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‘Shame on us’: Ovechkin says Capitals not ready in loss to Blue Jackets

Jan 17, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin AP

In almost every aspect, the Washington Capitals were far and away the second best team on the ice against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

They were outhit 40-18 in a very physical game, outshot 36-27 and, most importantly, outscored 5-1. And Washington’s best player and league leader in goals, Alex Ovechkin, was held off the score sheet entirely, thanks in large to the play of Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

“You have to be ready 100 percent. All team today, including me, everybody was not ready. It’s shame on us,” said Ovechkin afterward, as per Katie Carrera of the Washington Post.

“You just can’t let a game get away and be that easy. It’s not right,” added head coach Adam Oates.

With the loss, the Capitals remain fourth in the Metropolitan Division. They had a chance to jump ahead of both the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers and back into second in the division.

The Blue Jackets are sixth in the same division, but only three points back of second-place Philadelphia.

  1. trbowman - Jan 17, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    At least the Caps don’t tease their fans with regular season play only to bomb in the playoffs – they play like the mediocre team they are in the regular season.

    They’re not underachievers, they’re just not that good. Average defence, inconsistent goaltending, lack of secondary scoring. Too much on Ovechkin’s plate – get a team around him.

    Guys like Mike Green, Erat and Brouwer are exhibit A candidates who should be shipped off.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Jan 18, 2014 at 6:47 AM

      It all starts with George McPhee, he is in way out of his depth being a pro sports general manger

  2. trbowman - Jan 17, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    I legit feel for Ovi, who’s gonna take heat from the fans and media when they play poorly even though he’s carried that team all season. They’d be terrible without him.

    • 950003cups - Jan 17, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      Any media writer who even hints that Ovi isn’t doing enough should be fired.

      • ethanmacleod1685 - Jan 18, 2014 at 6:49 AM

        Absolutey, this is not on Ovechkin

  3. blue21c - Jan 17, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    GO JACKETS!!!! I was at this game. After an early assault by the Caps, the Jackets took over the game completely. Five in a row!!!!

  4. coltssteve - Jan 17, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    My question is what is it going to take to finally end the GMGM regime? I mean the problem here is not Adam Oates. The problem is the incredibly mediocre to sub par roster that George McPhee put together. What happened to the significant talent the organization had three years ago? Oh wait, thats right we have a GM who thinks trading a first round pick for Martin Erat was a wise investment. They need to blow up this roster starting with GMGM himself and then start over. I mean does anyone think Kuznetsov really wants to leave the KHL for this crap?

    • bccaps - Jan 18, 2014 at 12:21 AM

      Don’t forget carrying 3 goalies and destroying their confidence.

    • capsfan85 - Jan 18, 2014 at 12:27 AM

      Why is Adam Oates free of blame in this situation? GMGM doesn’t set the line ups that’s all Adam Oates. The bigger concern to me is that it appears McPhee and Oates are not on the same page. When trading a blue chip prospect with star potential (Forsberg) you should be absolutely positive the player you are acquiring will be an impact player who fits your system with a plan for how the team will use him regardless of the health of other players.

      In an interview, McPhee basically said that they acquired Erat as an insurance policy/”back up” plan for Brooks Laich. That’s unacceptable. When you trade a one of the most coveted prospects in the entire NHL it should be as a back up plan for an above average player at best. Did they not have a vision or role defined for Erat in the event Laich was healthy?? I would have had way more respect for McPhee if he had come out and said he made a bold move that hasn’t worked out instead of saying he doesn’t regret it.

      However, McPhee doesn’t set the line ups that job is Adam Oates, who honestly never gave Martin Erat a legitimate chance to develop any chemistry on a decent line. This pre-season should have been a time for Erat to start developing chemistry and understanding his role within the system. Instead Oates used the pre-season to try these “mad scientist” experiments playing Martin Erat and Eric Fehr at center, who he deemed were good enough to trade an undervalued & quality 3C in Perreault. Here’s a timeline of how Erat’s season has gone:

      * Games 1-7 -> 4LW
      * Games 8-12 -> 2LW (with the 20-21 who have been referred as a black hole)
      * Games 13-14 -> 1LW (with Backstrorm-Fehr)
      * Games 15-20 -> 1LW (with Backstom-Ovechkin)
      * Games 21-23 -> 2LW (back with the black hole of Laich-Brouwer)
      * Games 24-26-> DNP (Healthy Scratch)
      * Games 27-42 -> Primarily 3C with time at 2C & 4C (9pts in 16 games)
      * games 43-47 -> DNP (healthy scratch)
      * Game 48 -> 4LW (1 assist)

      Not to mention the Capital are 5-1-1 when he has played on the 1st line and has 10 Pts (0-10-10) in his last 17 games playing basically on the 3rd and 4th lines.

      He’s had some chances to play on good lines, but never given a legitimate opportunity to develop any chemistry with any line. Plus, we have to remember he has played RW his entire career.

      Yes, this was a BAD trade, but I still feel it could have been a decent trade if Oates had given him a legitimate opportunity to develop chemistry a top 6 line. So I don’t think all the blame should go on McPhee, but regardless it was terrible asset management in that after making such a significant investment in Erat we didn’t even give him a chance. What makes it worse is Filip Forsberg was just named the WJC MVP. His trade value would be sky high right now and he could have been the major piece in a trade for a good top 4 defender.

  5. flyeredup - Jan 17, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    The Average 8. Caps are irrelevant

  6. joey4id - Jan 18, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    A case can be made to blame Oates, the GM, and the owner. Ultimately it comes down to the guys on the ice They may not have the team to win it all, but there is no reason why they show up not ready. This is not the Sabres. 0/4 on the PP, 18 hits to the CBJ’s 40, 27 shots to CBJ’s 36. If the C says the team wasn’t ready then that’s on the coaches, the C, and the rest of the team in that order. You fans are always ready to praise Ovi when he carries the team, but when he fails he gets a free pass. Why? He’s the captain and it’s his job to help in the locker room.

    Nashvile Coach Barry Trotz on Captains

    To me, a captain is accountable; he speaks for the betterment of the group; he gets the coach’s message into the lockeroom; and he has caring attitude while getting and keeping everyone in line…. [He] embodies what the Nashville Predators are all about on and off the ice-hard work and professionalism.

    Source: “A “C” of Responsibility,” by Shawn P. Roarke, Impact! January 2003

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